Who: Central New York Playhouse
Where: 3649 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, NY
When: Through Nov. 21
Review by Kate Drozynski
The CNY Playhouse employee tasked with doling out ponchos and blue surgical shoe covers to the 15 or so brave souls sitting in the “splatter zone” of Friday’s opening night production of “Evil Dead: the Musical” did so with a knowing smile. “Would you mind putting these booties over your shoes? We don’t want everyone tracking blood through the mall.”
The splatter zone, cordoned off from the rest of the theater by six small red kitchen towels and a line of hazard tape on the floor, sat positioned directly under an ominous bucket of fake blood, lined by small sprinklers and attached to a hose that led back stage to, presumably, more fake blood.
The show, a musical rendition of the 1981 Sam Raimi cult classic horror flick, calls upon the ridiculousness of the plot
and amps up the kitsch with buckets of blood, sardonic songs and even a singing mounted moose head. It’s the timeless tale of a boy and his friends on spring break batting evil forces of Candarian demons with shotguns, chainsaws and the Book of the Dead.
Eric Feldstein, who plays the chainsaw-wielding Ash, captured the boomstick bravado and chiseled jawline of Bruce
Campbell as he massacred the possessed corpses of family and friends. One of those unfortunate friends, Scott, was hilariously portrayed by Liam Fitzpatrick, who committed to every farcical call of his character, from flinging prophylactics to a performing a choreographed zombie line dance set to the tune of “Do the Necronomicon.”
The musical numbers were a highlight with titles like “Bit-Part Demon,” “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons” and “Ode to an Accidental Stabbing.” The execution of the tunes, however, didn’t always do the campy numbers justice. But that’s the beauty of a comedic demon-based musical being performed at a mall: it doesn’t have to be pristine to be a good time. The whole thing is so absurd that it works. Groovy.
Those adventurous enough to splurge for the “splatter zone” seating will, by the end of the two-act comedy, be dripping with fake blood and other bodily fluids. It’s not your Sea World Splash Zone. Leave the kids at home.
The CNY Playhouse will be running “Evil Dead: the Musical” through Saturday, Nov. 21. Tickets for regular seating are $25 and “splatter zone” tickets are $35. On Saturday, Oct. 25 there will be a special dinner performance of the show.