However, I should mention how much fun it is to get splattered (or watch those in the first 3 rows get splattered) with copious amounts of stage ichor amidst perfectly honed horror-camp, scenery chomping and cat puppet scene stealing.
The production is true to the 1985 cult classic, H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator, and manages to cover the cogent plot points via snappy dialogue, catchy tunes and gut-busting (literally) action. The players are spot on, particularly Graham Skipper as Jeff Combs—I mean Herbert West, the obsessed medical student whose experimental serum can reanimate the dead. I am now a Super Fan of George Wendt (of Cheers) whose zombified rendition of the Miskatonic University Song made me love him more than “Da Bears!”
Never heard of the story or the film? Don’t let that stop you. If you are a fan of Grand Guignol, Frankenstein parodies or Little Shop of Horrors then this play is the perfect night at the theater! When director and co-writer, Stuart Gordon (who also directed the film), asked for preview audience feedback, I and the Lovecraft scholar I went with, were hard pressed to find a single flaw. Or perhaps we were too overcome by laughter and splatter.
Of course, purists must remember that the musical is based on an over-the-top campy gore fest, and not an exact adaptation of Lovecraft. Still H.P. admitted that his story had comedic overtones. Thus, the spirit of the thing lives on—at least for the next 10 weeks before taking it on the road. Shows sold out at prior venues, so get your tickets early and wear your plastic mac.
RE-ANIMATOR™ THE MUSICAL
Directed by Stuart Gordon
Preview performances Weds.-Sun. Opens May 3rd , 2012.
The Hayworth Theatre
2511 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles,CA 90057