The Out of the Box Theatre Company is not just about thinking out of the box; there’s a fair amount of travel involved, as well. Samantha Eve, the director of Evil Dead: The Musical at Center Stage Theater this Thursday through Halloween, spends her summers combing the Golden State like a Huell Howser of regional drama, searching high and low for the most exciting and interesting low-budget contemporary theater. “It really helped to talk with him,” she told me about the prop master for the Martinez, California, production of Evil Dead: The Musical. “And to see a production so that I could imagine the range of ages that could be interested — this was a small theater, and there were people there from 18 to 80.”
Evil Dead: The Musical is the brainchild of a group of Toronto artists who saw the Sam Raimi film franchise of self-conscious, over-the-top horror movies and recognized an opportunity for the stage. The result is a postmodern, high-impact musical that takes the midnight-movie audience participation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and updates it for the Facebook era. Evil Dead: The Musical is at Center Stage Theater from Thursday, October 27, through Monday, October 31. Call 963-0408 for tickets. For a few reasons to check it out, read on below.
1. It’s Going to Be Wet: The first thing to know about this Halloween-time production at Center Stage is that you should be ready to get wet. “We will be selling ponchos,” said Eve, “because there may be some splashes,” alluding to the 35 gallons of stage blood that Personal F/X plans to spew on a mostly suspecting audience. “We are in pretty heavy tech rehearsals already,” Eve said. “It’s an ambitious thing. We will have hands cut off, heads sliced in two, and even those same hands returning, Addams Family-style, to add some obscene gestures.”
2. It’s Halloween Appropriate: It’s a Halloween production, downtown. In other words, get dressed up.
3. Costumes Will Be Provided: When I asked Eve if she felt that there would be a lot of people in the audience in costume, she answered by saying, “Let me put it this way: If you come in costume, fine. But if you just want to show up in a white shirt, we will take care of your costume for you.”