Saturday, August 21, 2010

Promethean Theatre: Evil Dead The Musical (4 reviews)

Photo: George Schiavone
The Promethean Theatre opened its production of Evil Dead the Musical on August 20, 2010.
Five college students go to an abandoned cabin in the woods, and accidentally unleash an evil force that turns them all into demons. It's all up to Ash (a housewares employee, turned demon killing hero), and his trusty chainsaw to save the day. Blood flies. Limbs are dismembered. Demons are telling bad jokes... and all to music.
Margaret Ledford directed a cast that included Matthew William Chivezer, David Dearstyne, Noah Levine, Troy Davidson, Jamie Mattocks, Kaitlyn O'Neill, and Lindsey Forgey

Brandon K. Thorp reviewed for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times:
Matthew Chivezer, the Bruce Campbell stand-in, has such fabulous physical instincts... his every twitch is a pose. Eyebrows akimbo, chest bulging, declaiming his lines in a baritone of Bunyonesque American bigness — Chivezer isn't exactly mimicking Bruce Campbell's iconic turn, but he's jazzing on it, and he's awesome.
Also awesome: the tricked-out craziness of Promethean's set.
Troy Davidson is a glorious over-actor... Noah Levine  is splendid, shucking his way through the haunted woods as a wizened old hillbilly... David Dearstyne, as a pipsqueak assistant who grows cojones  only when possessed by a demon, is a creature of nigh-perfect comic timing. Expect big things. And as a buxom, no-shit-taking professor type whom Dearstyne is supposed to assist (and wed, apparently) — Lindsey Forgey is pure, burnished brass.
...this is very much an out-there, in-your-face comedy. Evil Dead: The Musical  has little interest in ambiguity, unlike the film that inspired it. The music is broadly composed genre-riffage; the gags are mostly physical and leave you wondering about nothing much. I'm not sure if that makes the show a fitting tribute to Sam Raimi's old warhorse, but it does make it more entertaining. If you like that kind of thing.
Roger Martin reviewed for
It's called Evil Dead The Musical, for God's sake. How classy can it be? Zip, zero, nada on The Great Theatre Scale. And that's being generous. But on the Broadly Funny, Well-Produced, Enjoy The Hell Out Of The Evening Scale, Promethean's latest show shoots (and bleeds) right over the top.
Matthew William Chizever with his engaging stage presence is the excellent big boy hero, and right up there with him are Troy Davidson, Lindsey Forgey, Noah Levine, and David Dearstyne.
 Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Thanks in large part to the skillfully cheesy way Chizever plays the beleaguered hero, Evil Dead is one bloody funny bloodbath.
Under Margaret M. Ledford's inspired direction and with campy-clever choreography by Chrissi Ardito, Evil Dead is even more successful than Cannibal!  was. Everything has a tonal unity, from Ellis Tillman's trampy costume for the sleazy chick to the talking, wall-mounted moose head, which sounds suspiciously like Bullwinkle J. Moose from the old Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons.
The cast has a blast, with Chizever doing hilarious battle with his own possessed right hand, Lindsey Forgey shining as both a dim-bulb pickup and a professor's plucky daughter, Troy Davidson going gleefully over the top as Ash's sexist buddy.

Kaitlyn O'Neill morphs hilariously from Ash's bookish sis to voracious demon. Jamie Mattocks brings a future victim's sweetness to the part of Ash's girl, Noah Levine revels in his role as the dentally challenged hick, and David Dearstyne evolves from milquetoast boyfriend to song-and-dance demon.
Mary Damiano reviewed for South Florida Theatre Review:
“You’re not going to learn a thing tonight,” Deborah Sherman, the company’s producing artistic director, told the opening night audience. But those who didn’t know it already did learn something–Promethean knows how to treat its audience to a bloody great time.
Matthew William Chizever is a worthy successor to the role that Bruce Campbell made famous...  Forgey excels in her double role, as dimbulb Shelley, and as brainy, clothing-challenged Annie... O’Neill possesses a glass-shattering voice, and the ability to spew exceedingly bad puns with glee. Davidson milks every laugh out of his extended death scene, while David Dearstyne is endearing as Ed, the stereotypical forgettable extra.
Margaret M. Ledford has assembled the top-notch talent, both on stage and behind the scenes, necessary to produce this monster of a show. Ledford keeps the pace brisk so the laughs flow as easily as the blood.
The Promethean Theatre presents Evil Dead the Musical at the Black Box Theatre at Nova Southeast University through September 12, 2010.


  1. By far the best musical I've seen this season!

  2. Saw it last night, and LOVED IT! Came with a bunch of my buddies who are huge fans of the movie and we thought the whole thing was TOP NOTCH! Sit in the SPLATTER SECTION! It's now cool for the Youth-of-America to go to theatre! Thanks Promethean!

  3. Holy GOD!!! This show is awesome! Didn't sit splatter section but still had an amazing night at the theatre. Who knew it could be that much fun?!

    Thanks to an amazing cast for an amazing evening! My wife an I will never forget it!

    Ash totally BLEW THAT BITCH AWAY!

  4. Come back to South Florida!!! This looks so cool and I never got to see it. :-(