It’s back: Stuart Gordon’s hilarious production of “Re-Animator: The Musical” at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, extended through November 23, and it’s even better than the last time it was in town. Upgraded with additional new songs by Mark Nutter, new choreography by Cynthia Carle and fresh blood in the cast—Broadway’s Darren Ritchie as Dan Cain, TV’s Jessica Howell as Megan Halsey, and Ken Hudson Campbell (of ARMAGEDDON) as Dean Halsey—the show is reinvigorated and crazier than ever.
Telling the story of H.P. Lovecraft’s disturbed medical student Herbert West (the very funny Graham Skipper, giving Jeffrey Combs a run for his money as the definitive West) and his glowing green substance that restores “life” to the recently dead, the show wastes no time in getting the gore and comedy in motion. Clashing with returning Jesse Merlin’s Doctor Carl Hill, West and roommate Dan take their situation from bad to worse to insane… and the audience in the first three rows’ “splash zone” ends up soaking in gruesome stuff, laughing all the way.
A cult following has risen up around the musical, complete with cheers for good ol’ Miskatonic U. and a genuine love for Marlon Grace’s security guard Mace and the show’s mascot, undead Rufus the Cat. The ensemble isn’t left out either, with big cheers for Cynthia Carle (“She’s dead, Dan”), Brian Gillespie and Liesel Hanson. And of course, Peter Adams—keyboardist, musical director, arranger and more—is singled out for particular notice. Everyone involved in the production has put the totality of their energy, enthusiasm and affection into the show, and it pays off.
There isn’t much more to say: If you like horror, comedy and musicals, here’s your reagent. “Re-Animator: The Musical” (presented by Trepany House) has been reanimated (edit: Run extended!) November 23, so get your tickets now.