Monday, October 20, 2014

Re-Animator The Musical: Spook-Tackular!

We had to use such an idiotic line as Spook-Tackular because Re-Animator The Musical fits so well into the Halloween genre of dark humor no other word can take its place.There's so much blood and music! Is there any greater musical in LA with such bloodshed? Bloodshed that affects the first few rows of the audience?

Opens Friday, October 17, 2014. Runs through Sunday, November 2, 2014. Fridays through Sundays at 8:00pm.
The Steve Allen Theater
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027
Parking lot behind building
$25. Previews $20
Set in the small chambers of the Steven Allen Theater, a line was already stretched outside for the show thirty minutes before it even started. Fans, so entrenched in the show, were wearing Miskatonic University, the fictional campus in the film and musical, clothes. Some fans were wearing lab coats and had glowing vials of Re-Animator serum on them. Later, the super fans broke pencils in a key scene of the musical with Herbert West (get a pen), took the front seats, the best seats and led us with pom-poms for the Miskatonic University anthem.
the big fans

The musical is based on an 80's horror film by Stuart Gordon, who also concocted this re-telling in musical form. In this tale, we have Herbert West (Graham Skipper) devise a formula to re-animate the dead, it works with horrifying results. Some things should stay dead. Though they don't hunger for flesh, those brought back aren't themselves, they're violent to the living. Herbert West takes residence in Dan Cain's (Darren Ritchie) house with his experiments to bring back the dead. Dan soon gets involved helping West to the chagrin of his girlfriend Megan Halsey (Jessica Howell), daughter of the dean of Miskatonic University.  The deplorable Dr. Hill (Jesse Merlin) has it in for West and loses his head over his findings and Meg.

It was two hours of laughs on the unfortunate endings of others. The musical has songs about dead cats that happens to come out as a puppet and full costume in gross detail, swing those guts, kitty! The catchy, "She's dead, Dan!" will stick with you with a number of songs about untimely demises. A song from a security guard devoted to his laziness and other oddball tunes make their way through the musical all leading up to bloody favorites.
Those lucky enough to be in the first few rows will have blood, brains and guts splattered on them. Each bit of blood is worked into the songs going on as the undead come back to life or bodies or being examined before you.

High praise to Jesse Merlin as the fiendish Dr. Hill. He's creepy voice  and stage presence as a total creep with a head sometimes attached, but not always entertained. It has to be his creepy voice that keeps you so in awe. The rest of cast, not that big, kept us laughing from just the faces they made. The scream and sexiness of Jessica Howell playing Meg make for some great horror queen screams.
Since TTDILA last reviewed the show, back in 2012, it's been changed with added songs for these performances.

For the Halloween season, a perfect night out watching an 80's horror movie as a musical. Blood spewing into the audience only makes you want there to be more theater like this.