Want to go?
WHAT: “Evil Dead: The Musical”
WHEN: 8 p.m. August 3, 4, 10, 11 & 2 p.m. August 5 and 12
WHERE: Harlequins Theatre, 414 Wayne St. Rear, Sandusky
Harlequins Community Theatre is trying something new.
Starting in August, the production company is introducing Harlequins on Edge.
“The subject and content matter are outside of the mainstream from what an audience expects,” Director Phillip W. Johnson said. “It won’t necessarily be happy endings and sunshine and roses.”
“Evil Dead: The Musical” will be the theatre’s first “Edge” attempt, and it’s fitting — the title alone doesn’t suggest that there will be a happy ending. There will, however, be a bit of humor — the production is a campy comedy, spoofing B horror films.
Johnson and a committee chose it for its name recognition and the appeal to a different audience from their normal season patrons.
“[‘Evil Dead’] will probably bring in a younger crowd, and those searching for alternative theatre,” Johnson said.
It may even attract those who want to feel as though they’re part of the show. Perfect, since there are special seats for audience members who wish to get splattered by blood.
There are 13 cast members, five of which are new faces.
“[Since] it’s a different show than usual, I think other actors were drawn to it,” Johnson said.
“Evil Dead” is Harlequins’ first full-blown musical, other than Kid Kompany productions, in at least five years.
“It’s sort of a precursor to our first musical in a while when we open our 85th season in October with ‘Next to Normal,’” said Johnson, who will also direct that production.
So what’s the cast’s favorite song?
“Off the bat I’d want to say ‘What the F**k Was That?’, but it’s probably ‘The Necronomicon’ because it involves the whole cast, although ‘What the F**k Was That?’ has the funniest dance number,” Johnson said.
He made the decision not to have a choreographer for the show. His reasoning?
“It’s very campy and followers expect campy,” Johnson explained. “I didn’t want any attempt at grand dance numbers that don’t fit the genre of the play.”
A music teacher and a former member of show choir, Johnson figured he knew enough campy dance moves to do the job himself. This might explain why he believes the cast’s favorite dance number is the more disco, eighties-oriented song “It’s Time.”