Interview with Sirc Michaels
(director/producer EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL in Las Vegas)
Beginning in Toronto, Evil Dead: The Musical has gone on to be staged all over North America. While in Las Vegas for our honeymoon, my wife and I decided to check out the Sin City production: Evil Dead: The Musical Ultimate 4D Experience. To get the scoop on how Las Vegas is putting its stamp on this fan-beloved property, we went right to the horse's mouth: director and producer Sirc Michaels.
ZED WORD: What is it about The Evil Dead that lends itself so well to comedy and musical theatre?
SIRC MICHAELS: EVIL DEAD managed to cross over genres, starting as a horror film and eventually ending with a semi-comedic adventure story that featured a skeleton army. Bruce Campbell's charisma and Sam Raimi's sensibilities brought to life a universe that has been growing in fan adoration ever since it first premiered. Zombies, a hero with a chainsaw for a hand, and inconsistent horror genre cliches - what is more ripe for a comedic treatment? Making it a musical is just icing on the cake.
ZW: With productions that have been staged across Canada and the USA, what does the Sin City production of EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL bring to the table that makes it unique?
SM: First of all, the production in Vegas breaks the 4th wall. Entirely. The actors at moments interact directly with the audience. The audience is encouraged to yell, interact, and have a good time. Secondly, our Splatter Zone is not just a bit of blood coming from the stage. It is 20 gallons of blood spraying from all directions, hitting the people who sit in those coveted seats. If you sit there, it is a no-holds-barred shower in blood. People leave red from head to toe. If that isn't enough, we have a killer S-Mart area after the show, we have a vibrant Facebook Page where we interact with our fans, and generally speaking we show our fans a LOT of love for the price of admission. From the deadites out front at the top of the show to the S-Mart employees as the fans leave, we try to make it more than just a show - it is, as the tag line states, the ultimate 4D experience.
ZW: Let's talk blood! Roughly how much blood is shed during each performance? Any idea how much blood has been splattered on the audience during the entire run so far?
SR: We go through 20 gallons on the audience and another 15 or so onstage. That's about 30-40 gallons per show. All total, since the first show we performed last year, we've gone through between 2500 and 3000 gallons of blood. Likely more, but who's counting?!
ZW: What's your favorite aspect of directing EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL?
SR: I cut my teeth directing and producing THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (the live show that the film is based on) all around the country. I've done tours of it, one-off performances, small runs, etc. You name it, I've done it. I have a lot of experience with working with fans and encouraging their participation. It was exciting to bring that knowledge and understanding to material as rich and funny as EVIL DEAD. It is like marrying chocolate and peanut butter. It just goes so damned good together!
Evil Dead: The Musical runs every Friday and Saturday night at the V Theater in Planet Hollywood. Visit evildeadvegas.com for tickets and show times.