Song, dance and splatter: horror comedy Evil Dead: The Musical makes Whitehorse debut

Five college students break into a cabin hoping for a nice getaway weekend only to accidentally release malefic demons out to dismember humans — what people would consider a bad start to a weekend.

Five college students break into a cabin hoping for a nice getaway weekend only to accidentally release malefic demons out to dismember humans — what people would consider a bad start to a weekend.

What ensues is a fight for their lives, punctuated by singing, dancing and some occasional bloodletting.

Evil Dead: The Musical is making its Whitehorse debut at the Guild this week.

The play, written in the early 2000s by George Reinblatt, was an instant hit and received glowing reviews. By 2008, the show had played more than 300 times, The Toronto Star reported, including in New York, Toronto and Montreal.

Loosely based on Sam Raimi’s 1980s Evil Dead trilogy of films, the play mixes horror and comedy.

“One of my goals was to scare the shit out of people, but it is so campy,” said Brian Fidler, the Guild’s artistic director and play director. “They’re super campy and over the top.”

Fidler praised his cast, who’ve been rehearsing at a breathtaking pace of four hours a day, six days a week for the past month and a half.

“They’re a strong cast of singers, actors and dancers,” he said. “It’s a good group of people who enjoy each other’s company.”

Even the read-through, when the cast reads the script together for the first time, was memorable.

“If we could have brought an audience to watch that read-through they would have really enjoyed it,” Fidler said. “The actors were having such a good time with reading this hilarious script.”

The show is intended for a mature audience as it features a bit of violence.

“There is gratuitous violence, bad language and mature themes,” Fidler said. “Two of the characters have a song called ‘What the fuck was that?’ — that gives you an idea.”

Working on the play has been a good experience, Fidler said, remembering the first time the cast practiced their quick costume changes.

“It was a real shock,” he said. “They came out and had completely different looks.”

Anyone who has seen Evil Dead II will remember the scene where Bruce Campbell, playing Ashley ‘Ash’ Williams, gets hosed by a fire hydrant-like torrent of blood.

There will be blood during the play, Fidler said, but the audience shouldn’t be worried.

“We’re not going to hose the audience,” he said. “(But) they might get a spattering of blood, especially the first two rows.”

And while the cast uses tools they’ve dubbed “blood cannons,” those are never aimed at the audience, Fidler said.

Working with fake blood on the scene had its share of challenges. At one point a crew member was explaining how to use a blood-splattering accessory when it blew up in her face.

And Fidler isn’t simply proud of his cast, or the script he picked, but the set too.

Renowned snow carver Donald Watt, who also builds stages in his spare time, designed the set. What the audience sees is a cross-section of an actual cabin, which even includes a fireplace.

“We bring the cabin to life,” he said. “We had to construct it in a way so it could appear to be possessed.”

And Whitehorse bagel enthusiast Adrian Burrill custom-made drinking glasses for the actors to break.

“You’re (basically) making candy that shatters,” he told the News.

Burrill cooked sugar, corn syrup and water together until all the water is gone. The resulting liquid is poured in a mold — slowly to avoid air bubbles — and left to harden. The end result resembles old stained glass, fitting in perfectly with an old abandoned cabin. The fake glass is cheap to make and has an obvious and significant safety advantage over breaking a real window pane.

The cast, Fidler said, is ready for an audience.

“They don’t know what’s funny anymore,” he said. “They’ve just been doing it in a vacuum.

“It’s going to be a fun shock when the audience starts to respond, not just the sound of (me) scribbling on the page.”

Evil Dead: The Musical runs at the Guild March 2-18. For more information visit guildhall.ca.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read