© 2024 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Evil Dead: The Musical' Coming To Pensacola

Bob Barrett

So here’s the story, five college students spend the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash an evil force that turns them all into demons. Not ordinarily the stuff of musical comedies. But that’s the premise behind the show Evil Dead – The Musical, and it's coming to the Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola in the New Year.

"Evil Dead: The Musical has existed for about 15 years now. It started in Toronto in a bar, kind of as a joke. And the joke got away from them" said Chris Wilkes, the talent buyer at Vinyl Music Hall, and the co-producer/co-director of the show. He says that the show has been produced internationally including long runs off-Broadway and on the Las Vegas Strip. "It's something I've wanted to do since I first heard about it, because my background, before I got into promoting rock shows and whatnot is actually in theater. I'm a horror movie fan, 'Evil Dead' is my favorite franchise. So it melded two things that I really, really love.

Enter Nicole Dickson, the founder of IMPROVable Cause and Director of Improbable Cause Mystery Theatre. "The exact words he said (were) 'I want to do Evil Dead: The Musical but I will only do it if you do it with me'. And I said 'OK!'" Dickson is also co-producing and co-directing the show. "I love the idea of horror meets camp. And I think we're going to do some really spectacular stuff with it."

The biggest obstacle for the production was money. To that end, the production team initiated a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign has already met the original goal of $5,000. They have put in a stretch goal of $10,000 which will help the team bring in some special guests from the original Evil Dead movie.  "Chris has arranged it so we are bringing the ladies of the Evil Dead to Pensacola," said Dickson. These are the three female stars of the original movie. 

"Right now they are only (scheduled) to be here for a Q & A panel (after) the Friday night (performance) that's exclusive to Kickstarter supporters," said Wilkes. "We've made it a stretch goal on our Kickstarter, and they're available if we can make this happen, to extend their stay here so they can actually be at select performances throughout that weekend as well."

The Kickstarter campaign will continue through the end of the month, ending on Halloween. There will be a special event for people who have contributed to the Kickstarter on October 30 at Vinyl with a special screening of the movie. Tickets will go on sale to the public on the 31st.  The actual performance of the musical will be at Vinyl on January 3, 4 & 5.

One more thing. If you’ve seen this show before produced by community theaters or a high school, you may be in for a surprise. "The high school version is only 45 minutes long because it has to cut so much out of the show," said Wilkes.

Dickson agrees, saying "We are trying to make this production truly a horror production. So there are going to be elements that are really scary, which is why it's for adults. There will also be some funny bits, too."

And to bring that point home, people sitting in the first four rows at the show will be given ponchos to wear because they will be in — and I swear they say this is true — the "splatter zone." 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.