You know the classic story of the Evil Dead, right? A few crazy kids plan a getaway at a secluded cabin in the woods, demon resurrection passages are recited, suddenly the moose is talking and our hero is cutting off his hand with a chainsaw. Good times! Now, turn all that into a musical! Can you imagine it? Well, you’re in luck—you don’t have to fantasize about it because it’s as real as those three special words: Klaatu, Barada…Nerf gun?
I was able to see EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL for my first time last year, and I was blown away by the utter camp, the sheer amount of blood…and how oddly catchy the songs were. To find out that a local production would be happening a mere ten minutes from my house (at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls, MA)? It made this strange kid squee a little. This version is even more dripping in camp…and blood (a musical that needs a “Splatter Zone” is indeed the best kind of musical). Could you see hoses and nozzles poking out of shirts and from under props? Sure. But that just made it all the more fun, as the cast reveled in the gore and the audience fully embraced the B-movie insanity of it!
I’d like to take a minute to acknowledge the fantastic cast of this Evil Dead extravaganza: Joe Van Allen (as Ash), Erin Fitzgerald (Linda), Samantha Hinds (Cheryl), Christine Voytko (Annie), Emily Eaton (Shelly) Monique Dubois (Fake Shemp/Moose), Christopher Rose (Ed), Colin Allen (Scott), Russell Nadeau (Fake Shemp) and Josh Mason (Jake). After all, being able to handle songs like “Look Who’s Evil Now”, “What The Fuck Was That” and “Do the Necronomicon” with poise and precision isn’t always easy when you’re being possessed by Candarian demons.
And now, we are pleased to have the director, Kevin Tracy, at the clubhouse to answer a few of our questions:
I missed the Kickstarter (love the goal of $6,666, btw). What kinda swell things do the folks who participated get to look forward to? And be honest, how much of that cash was simply to get blood cannons to soak the audience?
KEVIN TRACY: The Kickstarter was crucial for us. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to put on the show, so we wanted our participants to know they were appreciated. Pretty much everyone gets a mention in our program. Different levels of donor got all kinds of things, from a highball glass to a private party, to being made into a Deadite and killed onstage! It’s very important to us that everyone who helped us out feel like they are part of the team.
How many of you had either seen or been part of the musical previous to this experience?
KT: Myself, I’ve seen three different productions, from amateur college to live tour. Before we started this I dragged everyone who would be a part to one or another. This is everyone’s first time putting it on. It’s a hell of a ride and by that I mean it’s a hellish ride. With actors. Ask me, I’ll take the Deadites anytime.
Tell us a bit about your crew – how long has the Ghost Light Theater been together and what are your long-term plans?
KT: This is Ghost Light’s third production in as many years. We’ve produced The Woman in Black and Bug. Our group has grown over the years, from about 7 in our first year to well over 20 participants for this show. Let’s hope the audiences grows even larger!
With both the Franklin County Pumpkinfest and Halloween happening on two of your performance dates, do you have anything big planned for those days?
KT: With the Pumpkinfest we’ll be around all day. We don’t have any activities planned. Our friends from The Country Players will be hosting activities outside the Shea and we’ll be there to help them if needed.
Do you worry at all that on Halloween, with the veil between worlds at its thinnest, your production may unleash Deadites on the world?
KT: I say let them in! Bring us your tired, your poor, your rotting and bleeding. I don’t think Donald Trump agrees.
What if Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi walked into the Shea—what would your response be? (Acceptable responses include: fainting, a Tourette’s-like shouting of compliments, or a calm & smooth statement that you’re going to make them look groooovy…)
KT: We’d all be going for smooth, but honestly, what would you do? Probably fall over and start seizing, then after we’d try and play it cool.
Do you properly lock up and guard the Necronomicon between performances? That must be a huge responsibility…
KT: Yes! We have to, it’s a very big responsibility. We have to put it in a secret chamber and recite three words. Or is it two? Well, we’re close, either way.
How excited are you all for the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series, debuting on your final performance night of Halloween?
KT: We’re thrilled! It’s like handing off a tradition. We do our local performance and then they go on with the TV show. It’s pretty much an exact, direct relation. We feel like we’re practically on set. That reminds me, I have some performance notes for Bruce…
Signature question time…what’s the strangest thing you can remember doing as a kid?
I remember my grandmother taking me to Disney World on my own. She said she’d see me for lunch. I was a 10 year old set loose on my own.
The musical has Friday and Saturday night performances through Halloween – that’s October 23, 24, 30 & 31 for you primitive screwheads who couldn’t figure that out. Get your tickets online now!