Last updated: October 18. 2013 2:17PM - 519 Views
MARY THERESE BIEBEL mbiebel@timesleader.com

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What: ‘Evil Dead: The Musical’

Who: The Limelight Players

Where: Phoenix Performing Arts Centre, 409 Main St., Duryea

When: 7 tonight and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, also a special midnight performance Saturday

Tickets: $12

Reservations: 570- 457-3589

Cheryl’s mom always told her what to do whenever she’s in a gloomy cabin in the woods and hears a frightening, danger-is-in-the-air noise outside.

Let’s see. That would be … Call 911? Awaken her brother and friends? Bolt the door?

Heck, no.

As Cheryl sings to the audience, mom’s sage advice is to “not wake the others and go investigate it alone.”

Welcome to “Evil Dead: The Musical,” as staged by the Limelight Players at the Phoenix Performing Arts Centre in Duryea.

With fake body parts, cheesy dialogue and characters running smack into gruesome situations, director Kimmie Crofchick said, the show is more hilarious than horrifying.

The main character, Ash, holds down a routine job in a department store but finds excitement on a mini vacation in the woods, where trees come to life, his hand takes on a will of its own and his friends, one by one, turn downright ghoulish.

“He’s witty and street smart,” Crofchick said. “He knows what he’s doing. He seems to know how to take out the demons.”

The show “beautifully mixes” elements of all three movies from the “Evil Dead” franchise, she added, and ends with Ash turning heroically helpful when he’s back at his day job in the housewares aisle.

“He saves the whole world,” she said.

But before that happens, audiences can meet all sorts of crazy characters, including a backwoodsman who calls himself “good old reliable Jake.”

Among his many claims, Jake “can help you when you’ve lost your keys or when you need double-bypass surgery.”

He can be your partner in the luge, he invented the formula for Krazy Glue, and he even inspired the Shamrock Shake. Good old reliable Jake.

“Last man to walk on the moon,” Jake also “won the fourth Oscar for directing ‘Platoon.’ “

“We managed to put all those lyrics onto a business card,” Crofchick said, explaining the character hands out this list of qualifications to audience members during the performances.

When the show opened last weekend, she said, some theater-goers returned for a second performance just to make sure they got one of Jake’s cards as a souvenir.

“Evil Dead: The Musical” is intended for audiences who are “a mature 16” or older, because of language, Crofchick said, adding people will especially enjoy it if they’ve seen the movies.

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