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Theatre department to put on 'Evil' musical

October 14, 2010

Andrew Faber and Kelly Studnicki pose in a press photo for the newest production from the Department of Theatre, “Evil Dead: The Musical.” The show begins its run Friday until Oct. 24.

Photo by Photo Courtesy of Gregoire Seyrig | The State News

If you’re big on blood, guts and big laughs, the MSU Department of Theatre’s latest musical might be right up your alley.

“Evil Dead: The Musical,” filled with jokes, music and gore, is opening at 8 p.m. tonight in Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre.

The musical is based on the original movie “The Evil Dead,” which was released in 1981. MSU alumna Betsy Baker was one of the leading roles in the film.

The film was also directed by Sam Raimi, who attended but did not graduate from MSU.

“The original movie was intended to be a horror thriller, and it was. And then, over the years it became a classic cult movie,” Baker said. “‘Evil Dead: The Musical’ became so campy and silly because it was outdated. It started to incorporate comedy, songs, music and some dance numbers.”

The musical follows five college students as they embark on a spring break adventure at a desolate cabin in the wilderness.

The joyous trip takes a turn for the worst when the students unleash an ancient evil and paranormal activities make their dream vacation a nightmare.

Lauren Lograsso, a theater and communication senior, said she loves playing the role of Cheryl in the performances.
“She’s a ball of fun,” Lograsso said.

“She starts out as this really nerdy and smart girl who doesn’t fit in the group at all, and then eventually she turns into a demon who wants to kill and have fun.”

As terrifying as the plot might sound, director Rob Roznowski said the dancing and over-the-top gore adds humor and lightheartedness to the musical.

“There’s some pretty scary parts that reference the original movie, but for the most part, it’s just fun,” Roznowski said.

In addition to more traditional seating, tickets to the “Splatter Zone” of the theater can be purchased as well, where Baker said audience members will get a little messy.

“They’ve incorporated a lot of blood into the musical,” Baker said. “There’s a definite reason why they call the first few rows of the theater the ‘Splatter Zone.’”

Two of the 10 performances of the musical are midnight productions, which, Roznowski said, adds hype to the entire experience.

“We have two midnight performances at the Pasant, which will be really fun to do,” Roznowski said.

Besides getting the experience of acting on stage, Baker said there was more than just acting that comes from the project.

She said she is most looking forward to talking to students involved in the project about their futures in acting and how to prepare for their careers.

Lograsso said working on such a unique and humorous production has been a great experience.

“There’s so many funny aspects of the show, and as the play continues, it just gets funnier and funnier and funnier,” Lograsso said. “I love the style we’re doing it in.”

Although the musical’s mood is fun and energetic, Lograsso said the subject matter isn’t appropriate for all ages.

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“We’re doing a mix of really scary and really funny,” Lograsso said. “There shouldn’t be any small children, because there’s mature language too.”

“Evil Dead: The Musical” will run at Pasant Theatre until Oct. 24. For more information about the production, visit


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