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Song of the Living Dead
A Zombie Musical

Also see John's review of The Brothers Size

Song of the Living Dead

Following in the bloody footsteps of their previous productions of Cannibal! The Musical Live on Stage and Evil Dead: The Musical, the Promethean Theatre once again offers up gore galore with their production of Song of the Living Dead, a Zombie Musical. The musical is written by Matt Horgan and Travis Sharp and features music by Eric Frampton and Matt Horgan. This is the first regional production outside of 2008 world premiere at Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta.

The show follows the classic love story of sweethearts Judith (Lindsey Elizabeth Forgey) and George (Christopher A. Kent). While out together running errands and enjoying their newly-engaged bliss, the young couple unwittingly stumbles into a full-fledged zombie attack. Their devotion to one another through fighting zombies and bloodied, brain-craving mayhem is a true testament to their undying love.

It seems no one is safe from ridicule with songs sung by Noah Levine as Reverend Seabrook, such as the amusing "The Lord God Hates Them All" and the country-styled "Why Are You Cornholing Me Jesus?." The character's second act song, "I'm Gay For Jesus," falls short of the intended humorous shock value, however.

Sharyn Peoples has a nice, light comic touch in her performance as Peggy, and is cute in her song of self-deprecation, "Socially Retarded." She is balanced well with the broader comedic style of Lindsey Elizabeth Forgey as Judith. Forgey's is at her best in the song "Eat Me."

Clay Courtland is indeed "awesome" in his over-the-top portrayal of the arrogant, rogue commando, Harry Hardman, as exemplified in his song "I'm Fucking Awesome." He doesn't seem to miss a comic opportunity. He and Christopher A. Kent as George give the strongest performances in the show. Kent plays the complete opposite of rival Harry Hardman, as the mild-mannered George. Both men battle relentlessly for the affection of Judith. He manages to be just nerdy enough to make it work, and does a bang-up job with probably the most difficult song in the show, "I Still Love You." He has the unenviable task of singing this romantic ballad while tossing in Tourette-like outcries for brains as his character struggles with love over his zombie cravings.

Without a doubt, Song of the Living Dead, a Zombie Musical is a coarse and silly, irreverent spoof of all that is zombie. Though the show does not contain the extensive effects used in their similar production of Evil Dead: The Musical, the effects that are here (lots of blood packs) all go off without a hitch. It is a production amusing enough to have you half-smiling through most of the show (though I could have done without the singing Zombie Fetus). One can even be seated in the "splatter zone" if feeling adventurous!

Song of the Living Dead, a Zombie Musical will be appearing through September 10, 2011, at the Black Box Theatre in the Don Taft University Center at Nova Southeastern University. The campus is located at 3301 College Ave., Davie, FL 33314. The Promethean Theatre is a professional theatre company in residence at Nova Southeastern University. They are a nonprofit, regional theatre company seeking daring, creative, and original approaches to classical pieces, as well as contemporary and new works that engage the imagination and inspire passionate discourse among its artists and audience. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 866-811-4111 or online. For more information on the theatre and its season, you may contact them by phone at 786 317-7580, or visit www.theprometheantheatre.org.

Cast:
Harry Hardman/Lemal/Choir: Clay Cartland
Lead Male Zombie/Goth Kid: Robert Coward
Businessman/Bruce/Choir: Mark Della Ventura
Judith/Choir: Lindsey Elizabeth Forgey
Ms. Allapartanen/Old Ladies/Pregnant Zombie/Choir: Mary Gundlach
Kid/Lead Female Zombie/Choir/Swing/Bridgett: Jamie Kautzmann
George/Clem/Choir: Christopher A. Kent*
Scientist/Reverend Seabrook: Noah Levine
Intern/Raj/Choir/Zombie Fetus: Joshua Oliveras
Peggy/Choir: Sharyn Peoples

Crew: Director: Margaret M. Ledford
Music Director: Phil Hinton
Choreography: Chrissi Ardito
Scenic Design: Daniel Gelbmann
Lighting Design: Patrick Tennent
Sound Design: Matt Kelly
Costume Design: Ellis Tillman
Stage Manager: Joseph NE Smith

*Indicates a member of Actor's Equity Association, the union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States


Photo: George Schiavone


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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