EVIL DEAD

Cecil Whig - - JUMP­START -

Led by Mike Bliss (Ash), Darby McLaugh­lin (Linda), Rance Den­ton (Scotty) and Jessica Si­mon­son (An­nie), the cast at Mil­burn Stone han­dles the mu­si­cal in im­pres­sive fash­ion. They pull no punches on the ridicu­lous scale and fully em­brace sat­i­riz­ing not only the orig­i­nal 1981 movie “The Evil Dead,” but of the hor­ror genre more gen­er­ally.

Added to this wor­thy bunch is the tal­ented mu­si­cal corps of J. An­drew Dick­en­son (gui­tar), June Suh (pi­ano), Chris De­boda (drums) and An­thony Der­rico (bass). They lend cru­cial en­ergy and am­bi­ence to the pro­duc­tion.

Bob Den­ton, Mil­burn Stone’s tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor and un­of­fi­cial hor­ror afi­cionado, di­rects “Evil Dead,” and he spoke af­ter a run­through on Wed­nes­day night about how much he’s en­joyed pre­par­ing for the pro­duc­tion.

There were still kinks to work

out — mostly lit­tle things with the light­ing and new sound sys­tem; and be­cause Bliss slipped on the fake blood-cov­ered stage to­ward the end of the re­hearsal, Den­ton wanted to lay some car­pet there — but he was all smiles nonethe­less.

“I can’t even ex­press how fun it is, just that the cast is great and will­ing to do any­thing,” Den­ton said. “I love the peo­ple I work with, I love what I do.”

When au­di­ence mem­bers ar­rive to the lobby of the the­ater tonight, they’ll be of­fered the chance to

pur­chase pon­chos. That’s be­cause the first three aisles make up a des­ig­nated splash zone, where the like­li­hood of be­ing sprayed by blood (“light pink wa­ter,” Den­ton said) runs from high to very high.

Den­ton fig­ured the tar­get au­di­ence would be in their early 20s, but noted that any­one with a pen­chant for hor­ror would en­joy it. Be­cause of Hal­loween, this is Den­ton’s fa­vorite time of year, and it brings to mind when he would sneak into his par­ent’s base­ment to watch hor­ror flicks as a kid.

The peo­ple who bought front row tick­ets did so will­ingly, he said. They likely have sim­i­lar tastes to him, and maybe have be­come fans of the re­cent TV show “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

“Th­ese are like peo­ple who would go see GWAR,” Den­ton said, ref­er­enc­ing the Amer­i­can cos­tumed, hard­core band.

“Evil Dead” will run Oct. 7, 8, 15, 22 and 28. Rec­om­mended for ages 13 and up. Tick­ets can be bought at mil­burn­stone.com or at the door — $18 for adults and $15 for stu­dents or se­niors.

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