Terror in the woods is bloody fun with EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL at Blank Canvas Theatre

If you haven’t yet snagged up your tickets for Blank Canvas Theatre’s EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL (running now through November 2, 2019), then you’d better run like you’re being chased and get on their wait list, because that’s the only way you’re seeing it now! This sold out* show is killing it here in Cleveland.

A combination of the cult classic movies The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness, EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL has book and lyrics by George Reinblatt, with music by Frank Cipolla, Christopher Bond, Melissa Morris, and George Reinblatt.

Clockwise from back: Kate Leigh Michalski (Cheryl), Jordan Potter (Scott), Eric Fancher (Ash), Meg Martinez (Linda), and Becca Ciamacco (Shelly). Photo credit – Kristin Netzband.

A quick story rundown:

Ash (Eric Fancher) takes his girlfriend Linda (Meg Martinez), his sister Cheryl (Kate Leigh Michalski), his best friend Scott (Jordan Potter) and Scott’s girlfriend Shelly (Becca Ciamacco) on a holiday to a cabin in the woods. While there, the group accidentally unleashes an evil force, and they are forced to try and survive the night with demons and creepy trees. During the evening, cabin owner/scientist Annie (DeLee Cooper) and partner Ed (Zach Palumbo) arrive on scene with random woods dweller Jake (Jim Dove) to witness the chaos. Zombies rise, chants are chanted, body parts are dismembered, and a moose sings – all before dawn.

The cast is animated and full of campy fun. They are over the top, and also know how to milk a pause. Fancher’s Ash is confident and charming. Martinez’s Linda is warm and sweet. Michalski’s Cheryl is cautious and a bit shy. Ciamacco’s Shelly is bubbly and not so bright. Potter’s Scott is a loudmouth douche bag. Cooper’s Annie is a fast-talking brainiac. Palumbo’s Ed is understated and eager to please. Dove’s Jake is boisterous and a bit creepy.

From left: Becca Ciamacco (Shelly), Eric Fancher (Ash), Meg Martinez (Linda), and Jordan Potter (Scott). Photo credit – Kristin Netzband.

The special effects in the show are well-done, especially for the small space. Blood spray comes from the actors themselves as well as from unexpected places on the set. Audience members will be more than surprised about the sudden red spritzing from various nooks around the playing area. Don’t worry – IT EASILY COMES OUT! And MOST of the splatter stays in the first 2 rows.

An animated moose, a self-moving hand, and all of the zombie face transformations are also extremely well-done and highly enjoyable. A lot of work has gone into these designs, and it makes the show a seriously zany ghoul-fest worth seeing. There’s also a “special” disturbing moment in the woods with Cheryl that’s, well, let’s just call it “extra,” but that describes a lot of this foul-mouthed Deadite party!

Kate Leigh Michalski (Deadite Cheryl) terrorizes the group. Photo credit – Kristin Netzband.

The music is catchy, with tunes that stay in the head long past when the show is over. “Cabin in the Woods” is the biggest ear wig, but songs like “All the Men in my Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons”, and “What the F&%* Was That?” will also pepper your brain for days to come. The voices are competent and the band is bad ass.

Congrats to director Patrick Ciamacco and assistant director Kristin Netzband for a delightfully squishy production. Also to music director Matthew Dolan and assistant music director Anthony Trifiletti for rocking out the score and bringing the Necronomicon to life.

Bravo to the Special Effects Designer team of Patrick Ciamacco, Noah Hrbek, & PJ Toomey. The show also features Set Design by Patrick Ciamacco, Lighting Design by Patrick Ciamacco & Brad Hughes, and Sound Design by Patrick Ciamacco & Anthony Newman.

So go get some! Jump into that wait list line for your seats. The show is SOLD OUT, but the wait list is open for each remaining performance. *The wait list is started 1 hour before each show, and audience members have to be present to be added to the wait list.

Tickets are $20, and shows take place at the 78th Street Studios, 1305 West 78th Street, Suite 211, Cleveland, OH 44102. INFO: www.blankcanvastheatre.com

The Deadites sing in EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL. Photo credit – Kristin Netzband.

Published by Kate Klotzbach

After writing for Examiner for 7 years, I brought my content to a new venue! Founded in June of 2016. I'm a Musical Theater graduate of Ohio Northern University and a long-time performer, arts lover and former stage manager. I spent 3 years touring the U.S. with VEE Corporation, and am a proud Cleveland Singing Angels alum. Lover of Cleveland, chocolate, coffee, dogs, scary movies, Cards Against Humanity and (of course) my awesome family. PLEASE BE SURE TO "FOLLOW" MY BLOG FOR ALL OF THE LATEST UPDATES AND POSTS!

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