Making musicals out of movies is nothing new. But the last time a horror flick was turned into a tuner, it was a bloody mess. (For you non-theater queens out there, the show in question was Carrie, based on Brian De Palma’s film of the same name. I didn’t see it, but I do own an illegal bootleg and it’s gloriously awful!) Still, I have higher hopes for the musicalization of Sam Raimi’s cult classic Evil Dead (New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St, starting Oct 2), mainly because the folks behind it are from Canada. For whatever reason (The fresh water? The thin air? The use of French?), Canadians are more amusing than us lowbrow Americans. Just look at Jim Carrey, Mike Myers and William Shatner. The last Canadian musical to hit our stages, The Drowsy Chaperone, was one of the funniest productions I saw last season and it didn’t even have demons or chainsaws. Evil Dead does. I just pray the kid playing Ash has as big a chin as Bruce Campbell. God I love that chin.
If you’re looking for something a tad less messy, check out Judy Gold’s poignant one-person play 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother (St. Luke’s Theater, 308 W. 46th St, starting September 27). Written by Kate Moira Ryan and Gold, the show was inspired by interviews conducted with a variety of Semitic mamas, as well as Gold’s own life as a six-foot-tall lesbian mama/stand-up comedian. Yeah, I know it sounds sentimental and at times it is. But mostly it’s uproarious, and for those of us who actually are Jewish mamas, it’s comforting to know that we’re not all destined to end up like Shelley Goldberg, that incredibly annoying woman who does the Parenting Report on New York 1. Oy. My infant daughter cries every time that chick comes on.
A reunion is going on at La MaMa ETC in honor of the theater's 45th anniversary. Original cast members Ray Wise (yup, the guy who killed Laura Palmer) and Raul Aranas are reprising their roles in a revival of the lauded 1983 rock-n-roll production of Sam Shepard's The Tooth of Crime (La MaMa ETC Annex, 66 E. 4th St., Oct 3-22). While the guys may be a bit long in the tooth (pun intended), they've still got a lot of energy, especially Obie-winning Wise who recently did stints on the TV series 24 and The Closer. Glad to know he hasn't forgotten his rebellious downtown performing past.