Dead Can Dance THEATRE

Dead Can Dance THEATRE
"It was a long time ago that this went beyond where I ever thought it would go,” says George Reinblatt, one of the founding minds behind the brilliantly bizarre Evil Dead: The Musical. "I was going to be happy getting written up once and running for two weeks.” Instead, the show’s self-financed Toronto debut saw it morph into an instant cult classic, much like the darkly comedic horror film that inspired it. Evil Dead, released in 1981, has gone on to become one of the most revered cult films of all time, encapsulating the best aspects of campy horror. "That the zombies should get up and sing and dance is really just the logical next step,” laughs co-creator and director Christopher Bond.

"It was a big deal to make a show that didn’t ruin their favourite movie,” Reinblatt says. Far from ruining the film, it managed to bring it to a place no one could have predicated — Broadway. The musical comedy debuted to rave reviews in New York last year, and now returns home to Toronto, opening at the Diesel Playhouse on May 1. Add to this a Broadway cast recording released by Warner Music.

"Unless you’re playing for a long time, you usually don’t get a cast album. It’s pretty cool,” says Bond. "It will be a whole new experience for us because no one’s been able to hear the music besides seeing it live,” Reinblatt adds. That live experience has evolved significantly since the play’s grungy debut at the Tranzac. "The one thing I was worried about was selling out,” says Reinblatt. Given that the play now boasts Tony Award-winning set designer David Gallo, concern might be warranted were it not for their commitment to staying true to Evil Dead’s campy roots. "This guy, he won a Tony [Award] one week, and the next week came to work for us. And we’re telling him to make a cardboard car.”