Song of the Living Dead
Promethean’s Zombie Musical is Alive and Kicking
Get out your ponchos because Promethean Theatre’s annual summer bloodbath is back with a vengeance.
Two years ago, the company-in-residence at Nova Southeastern University staged Cannibal! The Musical, from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, followed up in 2010 by zombie B-movie knock-off Evil Dead: The Musical. This summer, Deborah Sherman’s company presents Song of the Living Dead, A Zombie Musical.
Song is many things. It’s silly, raunchy, gross and even more than a little gay. And, like the other shows, if you’re seated in the first two rows, the so-called “splatter zone,” watch out because there’s lots of blood and other simulated bodily fluids and you will be a target. Don’t worry though you will be provided with a plastic sheet for protection. Most importantly, the show is fun.
The plot goes something like this: Zombies are running rampant through the city and newly engaged couple George (Christopher A. Kent) and Judith (Lindsey Elizabeth Forgey) must escape if they are to realize their dreams of a blissful life together with a family and picturesque house with requisite white picket fence.
They are joined by Peggy (Sharyn Peoples), Judith’s mother, a socially inept medical examiner who would prefer making love with corpses, and Reverend Seabrook (Noah Levine), whose fire-and-brimstone rantings fail to repel the zombies, but help him to discover his own sexuality.
As with most campy parodies, a show like Song can be really good or really bad. Fortunately, Director Margaret Ledford has staged the best possible production.
Kent picked up the role in just a matter of days after Matthew William Chizever bowed out due to illness and offers a flawless performance, matched by Peoples’ hapless Peggy and the instantaneous transformation by Levine during the hilarious and definitely unexpected musical number, Gays for Jesus.
But, it’s the brilliant performance by newcomer Clay Courtland as evil businessman Harry Hardman that steals the show. Spurned by Judith, he sees the zombie epidemic as the opportunity to finally make her submit to his misogynistic advances. The audience howled during Hardman’s introductory song, “I’m F**king Awesome.”
The actors are backed by creative work from sound designer Matt Corey, lighting designer Patrick Tennant and cartoon-like set by Daniel Gelbmann. A clever backlit screen shows old zombie movies before the show and then is used as a key element of the action thanks to a number of original videos and graphics.
Musical director Phil Hinton capably leads the small band from backstage and the only improvement could have been to find a way to place the musicians onstage for tighter vocal performances.
“Song of the Living Dead, a Zombie Musical”
The Promethean Theatre
Thurs. – Sun. through Sept. 10
Black Box Theatre, Nova Southeastern University, Davie
Tickets $25 at ThePrometheanTheatre.org or 866-811-4111