Fresh from a second successful run in Los Angeles, Re-Animator: The Musical lands in Manhattan on July 17 for seven performances at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Not only is it based upon the cinematic adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s horror tale about a twisted medical student seeking to reanimate the dead, it is helmed by the film’s director Stuart Gordon and stars George Wendt of Cheers fame. That might sound like an oddball combination, but it has already drawn rave reviews from media outlets like Variety, L.A. Weekly and the Hollywood Reporter and won six 6 LA Weekly Theatre Awards, a 2011 Ovation Award and two 2011 LADCC Theatre Awards. The film had a morbid sense of humor that can translate well to a musical theater piece. After it’s Manhattan dates, the show will go to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in August. Check out a clip here.
Gordon spoke to Entertainment Weekly recently about the show, and it sounds like this will be a hoot live. He originally laughed off the idea of a Re-Animator musical but then recalled how all of the effects were done on set, so he simply brought his effects team in to work on the stage adaptation. “We were able to do almost everything that we did in the movie,” he told EW, “including showering the audience with blood, so it’s even better than a 3-D movie.” The first three rows are designated the “Splash Zone,” and audience members are offered plastic garbage bags to cover themselves, but evidently many decline in favor of being bathed in fake blood. Like a horror geek badge of honor.
The songwriter on the show is Mark Nutter, and of him Gordon said: “I always think his music reminds me of Tom Lehrer, who used to write these cheerfully perverse songs like ‘Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.’ Mark’s music is like that. It’s kind of happy music about disturbing things.”
This sounds like bloody high camp. I can’t wait to see it. In fact, I already have my ticket.