EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL book and lyrics by George Reinblatt with music by Frank Cipolla, Melissa Morris, Christopher Bond and Reinblatt, directed by Bond and Hinton Battle (Jeffrey Latimer). At Diesel Playhouse (56 Blue Jays Way). To June 23. $17.50-$49. 416-971-5656, www.evildeadthemusical.com. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Evil Dead: The Musical Lives on! Based on Sam Raimi's classic horror B-movies, the show, returning after an off-Broadway run, traces the adventures of five college kids who visit an abandoned cabin in the woods and engage in gory afterlife shenanigans.
Except for the chainsaw-wielding hero, Ash (Ryan Ward) , they all turn into Candarian demons. But while all the elements of the horror genre are in place (backwoods locals, cleavage, dismemberment and a plot as vague as primordial ooze), the show is more campy than scary.
Eighties dance moves, boobs and a possessed cabin provide ample distraction from the vapid monster-mash of a storyline.
An amalgam of the two Evil Dead movies and their sequel, Army Of Darkness, the plot of this ridiculous, ironic musical takes a back seat to the actors' tireless moonwalking and a cappellas.
Rachel Fischer as Cheryl recreates the punning, menacing demon in the floor to an almost disturbing degree, while Tara Macri as Linda, Ash's girlfriend, combines naíveté and hysteria as smoothly as maggots working their way through a corpse.
The cabin itself becomes a compelling character that mimics Ash's deteriorating mental state by completely falling apart.
There's lots of gore onstage (you can smell the industrial-strength cleaning fluids during intermission), so be sure to wear black to the best damn dead theatre event of the year.