We are so excited about the upcoming stage musical version of one of most popular cult horror movies of all time, The Evil Dead. If you haven’t heard about it, it will be at The Grandel from October 12-22 and will be a total blood bath, which is why you can be seated in the special “Splatterzone” seats. Bring your ponchos and be prepared for a great time!
I was lucky enough to sit down with the writer of the show, George Reinblatt. This talented individual is no stranger to show biz. As a comedy writer, he has worked with some of the greatest comedians of our time and has had the privilege of writing for the popular annual event, Comedy Central Celebrity Roast, on Comedy Central.
Jordan Zeitler- Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with me. So how did you com to the decision to turn such a cult classic film into a full scale musical?
George Reinblatt- It just kind of hit me, why don’t we do The Evil Dead. I watched the movie again but this time with a musical in mind and saw so many opportunities. So many of the scenes in the movie seemed to work perfectly as a musical. We then made the decision to combine the best parts of all three films and it all just fell into place.
JZ- With it being such a cult classic, were you worried it wouldn’t receive the same following as the film or even the TV show?
GR- Oh yeah, I was scared to death. Messing with such a fan favorite is always scary. The funny thing is the amount of positive feedback we’ve received has been absolutely crazy. I honestly thought the fans would hate us but it turned out to be the total opposite.
As far as the TV show, I think it really helped. The Evil Dead has never gone away. The popularity has remained strong. That’s why the TV show and the musical have been so successful.
JZ- Critics seem to be loving the show everywhere it goes. How do the reviews affect you and the future of the production?
GR- One thing with this musical is if you’re a fan, you’ll love it. If you’re not a fan, it’s a stand alone show that you can equally enjoy. You don’t have to know the original movie or the TV show to understand the musical. The reviews and critics have helped the show gain some legs. It has helped introduce us to the real theater crowd which is so important for reaching the newer audiences. There have been some major surprises from publication like Maxim and even Craig Ferguson.
JZ- Do you have any other plays or musicals that you have done in the past?
GR- No. This was my first attempt and it has kept me pretty busy. I’m very proud of the outcome though.
JZ- It seems that you have had a successful career in TV and Film. What made you decide to break into theatre writing?
GR- I just knew that it had to be seen live. We worked hard to make it worthy of a stage and the “Splatterzone” and other elements just wouldn’t translate to anything else. It just had to be live!
JZ- How much did you have to do with the composition of the show?
GR- I’m very musical by nature so I played a pretty big part. I wrote a lot of the lyrics but our team of writers definitely came together to make it all work.
JZ- Do you think that The Evil Dead is a completed show, or is there still room for it to evolve?
GR- I have made changes along the way to make fresh and new. Generally, if I go to a show, it’s brilliant to see something that the director has done that makes the show so much better. I’m amazed at how many different ways companies have interpreted it.
We do have a high school version in the works. We work shopped it over the summer. I was blown away by the turn out and it’s now in it’s final stages so hopefully it will be available soon.
JZ- What do you hope audiences take away from a production of your show?
GR- I just want them to laugh and have fun. This show was written because I thought live theatre was sometimes too stuffy. So I would ask audience members to leave all their expectations and inhibitions at the door. I also want people to understand that this is not a horror musical. It stays true to the campy aspect of the classic films.
At the same time, I am well aware that the real fans will show up with skepticism. So I designed the first song especially to kind of piss them off in a fun and light hearted way.
JZ- I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me. We are very excited to see the show and I have no doubt it will be amazing.
GR- Thank you. I hope you enjoy it. And you should totally sit in the Splatterzone so you can truly experience the magic of the show.
Well George, I have every intention of sitting in the Splatterzone. If you’re able to make it for the show, join me. I’ll bring you a poncho.
For more information about this show, click here!