Saturday, February 5, 2011

Re-Animator - the Musical premieres March 5th

Film director Stuart Gordon will direct the world premiere of Re-Animator – The Musical opening March 5th at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.

In 1985, Stuart Gordon directed his first feature film and created a sensation. It was Re-Animator, a smashing popular success based on a horror story by H.P. Lovecraft. The film delivered as many laughs as it did screams making it a cult classic among horror fans and winning a Critic’s Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Now, Gordon is back with his co-writers Dennis Paoli and William J. Norris and composer/lyricist Mark Nutter to turn Re-Animator into a musical for the stage.

Re-Animator tells the story of Herbert West, a brilliant young medical student who has created a glowing green serum that can bring the dead back to life. What should be a medical breakthrough results in hideous monstrosities and ghastly consequences.

The cast stars George Wendt, best known as the affable Norm from “Cheers” but now playing the Dean of the Medical School who West transforms into a mindless zombie. Chris L. McKenna, the star of Gordon’s neo-noir thriller King of the Ants is Dan Cain, Herbert’s hapless roommate who finds himself drawn into the mayhem. And operatic Jesse Merlin, who played the President of the United States in the long running The Beastly Bombing is Dr. Carl Hill who loses his head for Meg, the dean’s beautiful daughter (Rachel Avery), only to actually lose it at the hands of Herbert West. But thanks to the glowing re-agent, Dr. Hill is still able to take his curtain call with his head tucked underneath his arm.

Rounding out the cast (in alphabetical order) are Mark Beltzman, Cynthia Carle, Brian Gillespie, and Liesel Hanson, and introducing Graham Skipper as Herbert West.

Special effects are being done by the same guys who did them for the 1985 movie: Tony Doublin, John Naulin and John Beuchler. And the blood will flow so freely that the first row will be designated as a “splash zone.” Laura Fine Hawkes, who last designed The Lieutenant of Inishmore at the Taper, will provide the creepy sets, Joe Kucharski the moldering costumes and Jeff Ravitz the cadaverous lighting. Stage managing the madness is the unflappable Joe Begos.

Needless to say, the show is not for small children.

Mark Nutter is composer and lyricist and his cheerfully disturbing songs have been compared to Tom Lehrer. His previous stage credits include the international hit The Bicycle Men; Christmas Smackdown (created with the equally demented Cynthia Carle); and Wild Men. He’s also known for his work on 3rd Rock From the Sun and Saturday Night Live.) His recent CD “Twisted Songs for Twisted Sophisticates” has been banned from the airwaves.

Stuart Gordon directs. Prior to the Re-Animator movie, he spent fifteen years as the founder and artistic director of the Organic Theater of Chicago, where he co-created the original production of Bleacher Bums, produced and directed the world premiere of David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago, presented Ray Bradbury’s The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, and would later direct the feature film adaptation.

Previews of Re-Animator – the Musical are February 18- March 4th with opening on Saturday, March 5, 2011. The run will continue through March 27th. For tickets and more information go to www.steveallentheater.com or call 800-595-4TIX (595-4849).

Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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