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Zombie play to splatter Columbus crowds

Courtesy of CATCO

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Columbus’ professional equity theater company, CATCO-Phoenix, is unleashing “Evil Dead The Musical” for the Halloween season.

The show will run from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 at the Studio Two Theatre in the Vern Riffe Center.     

The show originated in Toronto and is based off of the “Evil Dead” movies. In the musical, five college students are enjoying their spring break in an old cabin hidden in the forest. As they are snooping around the cabin, they discover the Book of the Dead. When they open the book, they release evil spirits. However, if they want to survive, they must battle the spirits and return them to the ground.

CATCO-Phoenix artistic director Steven Anderson is the director of the show and explained that the musical is not only filled with horror, but has dancing, music and “blood-splattering” humor.

“It’s definitely not Rogers and Hammerstein,” Anderson said. “The show has songs and dancing. The original director didn’t plan for it to be funny, but audiences laugh, scream, and if they are sitting in the splatter zone, get hit by a fake-blood mixture to get the full effect.”

Jeff Horst, a 2005 Ohio State alumnus, is returning to Columbus to portray Scott, the rude, horny side-kick. The character was appealing to Horst because it was different.

“Scott is very much on the opposite end of what I’m used to playing,” Horst said. “That’s what made it unique. Steven (Anderson) asked me to do it in July and when I came into rehearsal, I was off-script. I wanted to start strong.”

Both Horst and Anderson say this production will attract audiences because it’s different and gives variety to the theater in Columbus.

“You have to buy that first ticket,” Anderson said. “It’s a nice introduction to theater for OSU students.”

For those students enrolled in Theatre 100, Introduction to Theatre, Anderson said that “Evil Dead” can be used as an extra credit performance. Interested students can buy tickets on campus at the Drake Union Box Office. Professor Nicholas Dekker confirmed this in an email.

Sarah Bergen, a fourth-year student in health science, said she is curious about the story and says she may go during the show’s run.

“I’ll go see it,” she said. “It sounds interesting.”

However, Danie Allenspach, a first-year student in molecular genetics, is skeptical of a horror story on stage.

“I’m a fan of horror stories,” Allenspach said. “But, when it comes to musicals, I’m not too into that. I’m not sure how a horror story can be played out in front of an audience.”

Tickets for “Evil Dead The Musical” can be purchased at the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office, on www.ticketmaster.com and at the Vern Riffe Center ticket office.

Discounted tickets can be purchased for opening night, Oct. 1, on groupon.com.

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