Five college friends, an old abandoned cabin in the woods and the Necronomicon Ex Mortis (Roughly translated ‘The Book of the Dead’.) What could possibly go wrong? Just Kandarian Demons, boomsticks and lots of blood!

Last night, my husband and I had the opportunity to catch ‘Evil Dead the Musical’ in Fullerton, CA. It’s got a run at the Maverick Theater until August 19th. The musical is a mashup of Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, with some Army of Darkness thrown in for good measure.

It’s in this cabin where Ash, his girlfriend/co-worker Linda, best friend Scott, random tramp Shelly and Ash’s sister Cheryl venture to spend their Spring Break. Scott and Shelly (whom he picked up drunkenly at a bar three days prior) plan to break one of the rules of surviving a horror movies: They’re going to get it on…..repeatedly! Ash and Linda are looking forward to a romantic weekend away from school and S-Mart, and Cheryl plans to make snacks and read. But if you’ve seen the films, nothing goes as planned.

Ash and Scott discover the Necronomicon in the cellar, along with a tape recorder. Playing the tape, our party hears the voice of Professor Knowby, who’d hidden himself away to study the book, which releases an evil in the cabin and surrounding woods. Cheryl is the first to fall victim to the Kandarian horrors. In an (futile) effort to escape, she is ‘molested’ by some angry trees. Then the fun starts. Ash tries to take Cheryl to a nearby motel, but it’s discovered that the only bridge leading in or out to the cabin has been damaged!

Meanwhile, we meet Annie and Ed, researchers. Annie has missing pages from the Necronomicon, and wants to take them to her father at his cabin.

Back at the cabin, Cheryl begins to act strangely. But soon, she’s become a demon! She sings ‘Look Who’s Evil Now’ and jabs a pencil into Linda’s ankle before Ash and Scott are able to secure her in the cellar. Soon, Shelly has joined the demonic ranks too! Scott takes the shotgun to her and she’s out the door. Our boys sing ‘What the F**k Was That’ before Scott flees. Demon Cheryl taunts Ash some more. Eventually, Ash’s hand goes bad, and we all know what happens from there. (It involves a possessed stuffed moose head hanging on the wall…and a chainsaw.) I won’t spoil the rest.

The songs are funny, catchy and hilarious. Depending on the production you see, there will be blood. It might get on you. The Maverick Theater offered ‘splash zone’ seating in the front row, where those audience members were splattered, splashed and sometimes downright bathed in the stuff. I was in the third row, and managed to get hit, but not by much. The audience for this show seemed to riff and heckle a bit, and I will admit I happily shouted along with some of Ash’s classic lines from the films. You will too!

I was impressed by the entire cast, but I do have to give a shout out to Jeff Campbell, who played Ash. I kept wondering if he was related to Bruce Campbell, because he seemed to channel The King too perfectly! Our Ash was even kind enough to pose for picture with audience members after the performance! Here he is with my husband and I.

The show contains coarse language and lots of adult content, so whether you parents decide to take the kids along is your call. If you don’t reside in SoCal, there are plenty of other productions going on all over, including an ongoing residency in Las Vegas! You can find more information on local runs over at their website.

Next on my plate, Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live! I’ll have a review of that show for you as well!

Be well!

-Jen

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