Thursday, March 8, 2012

Re-Animator The Musical Makes its Return

Graham Skipper and Jesse Merlin
in Re-Animator the Musical

Last fall it played for six sold-out months to rave reviews, standing ovations, and an embarrassment of riches in the awards department. Now on its way to becoming the most-honored Los Angeles stage production of the year, Re-Animator The Musical re-opens at a new location for a limited ten-week engagement, prior to its performance dates in New York and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. If you didn't see it then, you must see it now! [Click Here for my previous review.]

In 1985,
Stuart Gordon directed his first feature film and created a sensation. It was Re-Animator, 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 joined by composer/lyricist Mark Nutter turning Re-Animator into a musical for the stage.

Re-Animator The Musica
l 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. “I guess he just wasn’t fresh enough,” is West’s constant refrain as his quest for fresh subjects results in the murders of half the medical school’s faculty.

The original cast is back:
George Wendt, best known as the affable Norm from Cheers is once again 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, played by vivacious Rachel Avery of Big Love, only to actually lose it at the hands of Herbert West. Rounding out the cast are Mark Beltzman, Cynthia Carle, Brian Gillespie, Marlon Grace, Liesel Hanson, Richardson Jones and Graham Skipper as Herbert West.

Special effects are by the same team that created them for the 1985 movie: Tony Doublin, John Naulin and John Buechler with additional help from Tom Devlin and Greg McDougall. And the blood will flow so freely that the first few rows will once again be designated as a “splash zone.” Laura Fine Hawkes, who designed The Lieutenant of Inishmore at the Taper, will provide the creepy sets, Joe Kucharski the moldering costumes and Jeff Ravitz coming straight from Bruce Springsteen’s new tour provides the cadaverous lighting. Stage managing the madness is the unflappable Joe Begos. 
Stuart Gordon will direct.

Re-Animator The Musical
will play The Hayworth Theatre April 26 - July 8th before it begins its international tour. The theater is located at
 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90057. Click Here for reservations or call (323) 960-4442. For more information about the musical visit   
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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
11:31 PM


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