CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha Players' Halloween offering of "Evil Dead: The Musical" is bloody good.
It can only be described as so horrifically horrible that it was nothing less than hysterical. Proffering copious amounts of gore and endlessly awful one-liners, the cast delivered a far-fetched tongue-in-cheek thriller.
By the end of the first act, the stage is littered with rhyming demons, entrails, headless re-animated corpses and disembodied attacking hands. Although not the best singers I have ever heard, the cast, led by Terry Lanham as Ash, threw its all into each number, singing boisterously. They kept the audience howling. Kudos to director Ginger Basham-Workman for pulling off a show unlike any other offered on the local stage, and giving Charleston something different, campy and purely entertaining.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention Ted Rose and his performances as Jake. Somewhere between "Weird Al" and an extra from the cast of "Deliverance," he stole every scene when he hit the stage. With a pitch-perfect voice and hilarious facial expressions, he was larger than life -- or death. His multiple memorable death scenes left the audience covered in gore and shaking from laughter.
The sound could have used a little work, the voice-overs were hard to hear and, at times, the dialogue and lyrics were drowned out by the music.
Overall, though, it was an amazing performance. It was not for the faint of heart, the weak of stomach or the easily offended, but it was the best and most refreshing thing I have seen Kanawha players put on in a long, long time.
There is some foul language and some content that would be deemed inappropriate for children, but if you love the "Evil Dead" franchise, you definitely should not miss this show. Warning: If you want a good seat, bring a poncho and wear old clothes.
"Evil Dead: The Musical" shows Saturday, and on Oct. 12 and 13, at 8:00 p.m.