For the next three weeks, Drake University students, as well as the surrounding community, have the one-of-a-kind opportunity to see StageWest’s live production of “Evil Dead: The Musical,” just in time for Halloween. Hailed by the Associated Press as a “wickedly campy good time,” and The New York Times as “the next Rocky Horror Show,” this potential cult classic musical features Drake students senior Lauren Shun and junior Bridget Roepke, as well as Drake graduate Ben Raanan.
Claire Ottley, the actress taking on both the roles of Shelly and Annie, was thrilled to be part of the production.
“I’m really excited about “Evil Dead.” It’s campy and silly and kind of dorky and dumb, but in the most endearing, fun, exciting way,” Ottley said.
Just like the infamous “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Evil Dead” is known for its wildly funny and occasionally random songs. Designed specifically for the show, some are the titles are: “Ode to an Accidental Stabbing,” “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons,” “What the F**k Was That?” and “Blew That B***h Away.”
Actor Ben Ward, playing male lead, Ash, said, “In terms of the music, I think people love it.”
Even though the musical is not suitable for younger audiences, director Stacey Brothers is eager for a wide array of audience members to come.
Ottley agreed, saying, “The biggest draw, the reason I want anyone to come and see it is that you can come to theater and you can laugh for a couple of hours.” It’s a total spoof on terrible “B-movie” horror films, which is exactly what this holiday is all about. That’s what this entire show embodies: the silly, scary, exciting essence of Halloween in general.”
Located at the Civic Center’s Stoner Theater, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines, the musical will be performed Oct. 26, 27, 31, Nov. 1-3, and 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be matinee performances at 3 p.m. on Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and 11.
StageWest is also proud to present the Sunday Talk-Backs following the matinees. The talk-backs, filled with appearance from guest actors, directors and experts, open up the microphone for audience feedback as well as in-depth conversations about the play and its themes.
For the diehards, the play offers it’s unique “splatter zone.” Guests can buy the limited tickets to end up covered in zombie blood and guts by the end of the show.
“It’s so entertaining in so many different ways. It isn’t just this scary person with a chainsaw and it isn’t just a strobe light and special effects, it’s all that with dancing and singing and really great songs,” Brothers said.