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Evil Dead vs. Evil Dead – Two Theatre Groups Fill the Summer with Blood!

Anne Evans Anne Evans Evil Dead vs. Evil Dead – Two Theatre Groups Fill the Summer with Blood!
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Most of you may have heard, there are two theatre groups doing performances of Evil Dead the Musical this summer. So if you love Evil Dead and are thinking of which one to see… see both! Each of the performances are hilariously campy renditions of the movies and are packed with jokes, dancing and plenty of blood.

The story follows five college students on a spring break trip to a cabin in the woods. Once inside they accidentally unleash an evil force that turns them into demons one by one. It’s all up to Ash to save mankind from the evil Deadites!

CATCO’s show is taking place in Studio 2 in The Riffe Center. The stage is beautiful and allows them to do some fun things with animatronics. The entire cast does a great job singing and everyone plays well off each other. The banter between Annie (Liz Wheeler) and Ed (Liam Cronin) is fantastic. For me though, it was Jake (Jair C. Torres) that stole the show. He plays the hillbilly character so well – his accent is fantastic, his solo is wonderful and his presence on stage is great fun. Elisabeth Tate does a fantastic job as Deadite Cheryl, she’s loud and crude and her bad puns are pretty funny. The dance performance by the Deadites is great and Deadite Scott (Peter Matthew Smith) leads it well. I attended a Friday evening show and the crowd was definitely into it. Every time Ash (Joe Bishara) uttered one of his popular one-liners, the crowd cheered excitedly.

CATCO Cast Photo by David Alkire

Worried about getting splattered with fake blood? You only get hit if you are sitting in the Splatter Zone. And if you are sitting there, you will get covered. So if you are going out for a fun evening and want to hit up another place or two without changing your clothes, don’t sit in the Splatter Zone and you’ll be safe. You can also purchase drinks (water, pop, beer and wine) and candy.

CATCO’s remaining performances of Evil Dead the Musical are: July 9, 10, 15, 16, 22, 23. Click here for more information and to buy tickets. The show is directed by Steven C. Anderson. Cast includes: Ash – Joe Bishara, Ed – Liam Cronin, Shelly – Whitney Thomas Eads, Linda – Nicolette Montana, Scott – Peter Matthew Smith, Cheryl – Elisabeth Tate, Jake – Jair C. Torres, Annie – Liz Wheeler. You can like CATCO is Theatre on Facebook. Tickets are $39.50 plus fees. The show is also for Mature Audiences.

Path to the stage

To get the whole experience of driving in your car to a cabin in the woods, head out to Ostrander for the performance by The Dark Woods Theatre Company. The setting in the middle of the woods definitely feels a lot creepier. They were playing ominous music before the show. Torches light the trail to the seating area and if the wind is blowing the right way, a light smoke is in the air. I also attended this show on a Friday night and the sky was clear and the moon and stars were bright. (The show does go on if it rains, so be prepared.)

The actors in this group have more of a college-kid feel to their interactions. Taylor Tackett’s Ash is truer to Bruce Campbell. He does some great acrobatic somersaults during the infamous hand scene. His facial expressions and tone are really expressive and he gives the show a great performance. The Deadite dance performance is also great. I went into this show thinking they would do more with zombies walking around in the crowd, or coming from the back rows to head toward the stage, but that didn’t happen. There were a few technical and audio glitches, but it fit right in with the campiness of the show.

The entire seating area is in the Splatter Zone and you will be surprised when the blood sprays happen. People in the front row will get covered in blood. But everyone will likely get something on them. [Read about the making of their blood cannons.] If you are worried about bug bites and forget your bug spray, the front desk has plenty available. They are also selling cans of pop and candy for .50 each.

Look who's bloody now! Image courtesy Dark Woods Theatre Company

The Dark Woods Theatre Company’s remaining performances of Evil Dead the Musical are: July 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 and August 5, 6, 12, 13. Shows begin at 9:15pm or once the sun is set. Cast includes: Ash – Taylor Tackett, Scott – Alan Saunders, Jake – Jim Bouyack, Ed – Matt Cherubino, Linda – Kirsten Chervenak, Shelly/Annie – Cassie Gress, Cheryl – Ashley Blankenship, Tree Man – Mike Manter. Michael Manter is also the director. All seats are $17 and the show is for Mature Audiences. Click here for more information and to buy tickets. Follow Dark Woods Theatre on Twitter. Like them on Facebook. The show is located at 4482 Stover Road Ostrander Ohio 43061 and is about 45 minutes away from Downtown Columbus.

Enjoy the shows!

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