Oct. 13 2010 12:00 AM

Dancing demons? Blood-spattered patrons? It's 'Evil Dead: The Musical'

(Wednesday, Oct. 13) Disclaimer: "Evil Dead: The Musical" is recommended for mature audiences, due to
language and sexual references. Oh, and the blood.

“There is a 'splatter zone' where several audience members get
covered in blood whenever anybody dies in the show — which is quite a bit,”
warns director Rob Roznowski of the Sam Raimi-inspired Michigan State University Theatre production.

Based on the original "Evil Dead" films written and
directed by former Spartan Raimi, the stage production is every bit as gory,
kitschy, perverse and depraved as its big screen counterpart. The cabin in the woods is still a secret den of demons, and the clueless college students still have to deal with vicious trees and the dreaded Necronomicon — the book of the dead. But this time,
there is more singing and dancing involved.

“Yep, singing, dancing … and blood,” Roznowski said. “It’s great to also remember that theater is a popular form and can be
a popular form of entertainment. This show is really just ridiculously funny
and the lowest kind of humor that I love. It connects to people that way.”

"Evil Dead" may seem to be an unusual choice to sandwich in between Arthur Miller’s “The American Clock" and
Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” in the MSU schedule. But its placement was inspired by one of last year's big hits.

“After the success of 'The Rocky Horror Show' last year, it seemed like a natural
mix for us to do ('Evil Dead')," Roznowski said. "We saw a really great student audience and community
audience with 'Rocky,' so it was like the next logical step after that

Like "Rocky," "Evil Dead" will have midnight shows on Fridays, which may include sights unseen in other performances. “There’s some really, really disgusting things that we’ve cut out of
the show, (but) we might try them on a Friday night,” Roznowski said.

Another added attraction will be the participation of Betsy Baker, a MSU alum and a veteran of the original "Evil Dead" films. She'll teach master classes about breaking into the film industry and hold Q&A sessions after some of the "Evil Dead" performances.

Perhaps she can also give advice on the best way to
remove copious amounts of blood from a soiled t-shirt.

"Evil Dead: The Musical"
MSU Theatre Department
8 p.m. and midnight Fridays; 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays Oct. 15-24
$20 adults; $15 students
(800) WHARTON or www.whartoncenter.com