Friday, March 25, 2011

Review of Re-Animator the Musical says it's a "brilliant reanimation" of a classic horror film

A new review of Re-Animator the Musical has hit the Web and it's a lovingly crafted (see what I did there?) love letter of Lovecraftian proportions that lauds the production in almost every conceivable way, which problems means you should go see it.  Their bottom line assessment is that it's a "Brilliant reanimation of classic horror film completely realized for an entirely different medium. Superbly performed and perfectly calibrated for the imaginative space where audience and spectacle."

The whole review is here, but let me pull some of the juiciest meat off the bone for you:

Mad plot has med student Herbert West (Graham Skipper) concocting a serum that shocks the brains of the recently dead to a state of “re-animation”. Beleaguered by an academically dishonest professor (Jesse Merlin), West’s work lends itself to misunderstanding. When he persuades his roommate Dr. Dan Cain (Chris L. McKenna) of its surpassing value by experimenting on his pet cat, Cain becomes his ally, but the latter's girlfriend Megan (Rachel Avery), the dean’s daughter who won’t move in until they are married, doesn’t share his enthusiasm. Mayhem ensues.
Gordon does wonders with the utterly cramped space at the Steve Allen, conjuring up an epic number of scenes and locations in front of a half-wall and door by continually inviting the audience to share the imaginative experience of creating a theatrical perception. A production in which every effect creates intricate attitudes and reactions, all of which are splendidly calibrated despite their relentless excess and homely provenance, this is Grand Guignol resurrected unabashedly, for the terror of nervous laughter both delightful and distressed. The show revels in gore to high and low purpose simultaneously, to the extent that the first three rows are designated a splatter zone for which ponchos are urged upon patrons seated there (even so, the actors revel in extending the range of liquid blood and viscous guts as far as they propel them)
The show is running at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles though May 29.


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