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Get to Know the Show: Evil Dead – The Musical and Star Callie Johnson

November 6, 2014

Zombies, check. Campy thrills, check. Side-splitting songs and gags, check. If those items are a must for a night of entertainment, you MUST see Evil Dead – The Musical!

The hit show comes to Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $20.95 and are going quickly! Click here to buy yours today.

Think “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” with more splatter and more gore and more zombies.

Many musicals nowadays are based on movies. But Evil Dead – The Musical is the only musical in history to be based on a series of movies. Dating back to 1981, the Evil Dead films are among the most beloved cult franchises. Directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), and starring Bruce Campbell, the movies used comedy, gore, slapstick, blood, one-liners and creative camera techniques to revolutionize the horror genre.

In 2003, a group of Canadians thought, “Why not make the Evil Dead a rock musical?” And like the movies it was based on, Evil Dead – The Musical quickly became a cult sensation.

The story centers on five college students who spend the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods. The group accidentally unleashes an evil terror. In addition to some dismembered limbs, demons telling bad jokes, and catchy tunes (“Look Who’s Evil Now,” “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons”), the show features a saucy combination of wit and innuendo.

Callie Johnson, Evil Dead the MusicalFans of Evil Dead films who are in the audience often say lines with the actors, according to Callie Johnson, who plays the dual roles of Shelly and Annie. “But it’s not mandatory to see all of the movies to get the jokes. It’s making fun of all horror films,” she says.

To prepare for the role, Johnson watched the Evil Dead movies with castmates. She also had the experience of starring in Carrie The Musical in Chicago. So lots of blood is not an issue for her. Good thing, since Evil Dead – The Musical features a designated “Splatter Zone” where audience members may get covered in fake blood, fake body parts or zombie goo. (The “Splatter Zone” seats are sold out for this show!)

Getting into the costumes helps Johnson prepare for the characters. “When I put on the two push-up bras, tight pants and blonde wigs, suddenly I’m Shelly,” says Johnson. Playing the dual roles and the show in general is so physically demanding and exhausting that staying healthy is critical for Johnson and the cast. “I’ve really committed to taking care of my health so I can keep myself in the game,” she says.

As far as her favorite scary flicks, Johnson is a fan of exorcism films and “The Conjuring.” “Those really freak me out,” she says.

Tickets are going quickly for Evil Dead – The Musical! Click here to get yours today.

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