Creepy Review: CarnEvil The Horror Musical

This past weekend saw the much anticipated opening of Sacred Fools Theater’s latest offering CarnEvil. Creepy LA was there at the sold out opening night gala this past Friday evening to witness the entire thing.

CarnEvil is a campy, B movie musical romp replete with gore (and a bunny! A black one, of course). It’s the story of Danny Farinelli, recently returning to his family’s carnival after doing time in jail. He carries with him a dark secret and a mystical power. It doesn’t take long for his secret to draw out a wicked element.

Much more cannot be said without ruining all the delightful little surprises in store for the audience.

Featuring a creative, constantly moving set that makes use of the entire stage space, Victorian inspired magic lantern shows, human zombie puppets without strings and dancing Cthulus, (That’s right. Cthulus! But that’s my word for it. You’ll have to go to see what is really going on.) CarnEvil is slow to start in order to set up for what will be an entertaining payoff. The production hits full gear about ten minutes before intermission, making it almost vexing to have to stop. The second half of the show is nothing but action from start to finish with a whirlwind pace that slams to a close at the end like a life being snuffed out.

The show belongs to Jeff Sumner who plays Craven Moon. The name alone should tell you he’s the bad guy. His slithering, seductive, fully invested performance is  mesmerizing and brilliantly entertaining. David Haverty as the Wolf Boy ‘Albert’ is instantly loveable if not charming. Liza Baron and Whitney Avalon infuse the darkness with a sexiness as well as the smoldering vocals to go with it portraying The Twins. Joe Bybee constantly steels moments with his fantastic line delivery, timing and physical antics. Katy Tang is utterly transfixing while she flops artfully about as a human zombified marrionette in a dance that is equal parts graceful and inhumanly disturbing. If there had been some ethereal make up to go with her performance, there would have been a real chance at genuine horror within the show.

CarnEvil runs Friday and Saturday at  8 pm through October 22nd. The word is it’s selling out fast so get your tickets quickly! Reservations are available online or by calling the box office at 310.281.8337. You can also take your chances at the door where they will be $25.