A few weeks ago, Eric and I went to Toronto to see the live production of the Night of the Living Dead. Having seen Evil Dead Live and loving it Eric thought it would be fun to get tickets to this production. So we bought ourselves a viewing at $140.00 for the pair. I know pretty damn steep right?? But this was going to a fun night away, a great rendition of an epic movie, high quality production, etc, etc. It would be worth it.
Oh sweet baby Jesus, how wrong, utterly wrong, we were. I've tried really hard to refrain from commenting on the show and I'm going to be as diplomatic as possible here. But, first and foremost I'm completely disgusted with how much the tickets were, now having seen the production.
Here are the highlights. The actors (excluding the girl who played Barbara) were pretty decent. They were fluent with the dialogue, their delivery didn't seem hokey or forced and they remembered all their lines. "Barbara" however, was completely exaggerated and over-acted. I also think the role itself was terribly re-written. The other positive was the stage and props. For a small venue, they did pretty well with what space they had to use. The theatre itself was cozy with not a bad seat in the house.
The downside? The entire premise of the movie was wrapped up in the first half of the production. And it didn't portray anywhere near the tone or feelings of the actual movie. This production seemed to take on a comedic undertone with nothing startling or 'scary' happening. I guess it would have been decent had I been under the impression that this was the route they were going. But nowhere in the advertisements did it suggest that it was more of a comedy than horror or thriller. The jokes were hokey at best and while it seemed to try to come off as campy it fell a little short.
By the 1/2 way mark Eric and I were questioning what the hell we had subjected ourselves to and were (and frankly, still are) shocked that George Romero would even have attached his name to this production. We wondered if he signed off without seeing the script... But more importantly we were struggling to figure out what in hell we were going to see for the second have since the first half ended with everyone dying.
Well, we were so, SO lucky (are you sensing my sarcasm)! The second half was made up of 10-12 alternate endings. Some examples: What would have happened IF a 'white man' was the leader? Another, What would have happened if the ladies were left in charge? What might have transpired if one of the survivors sacrificed himself to the hoards of zombies so the others could get away? There were others I assure you, but the last one was a take on what might have happened had they all learned to work together which just broke out into a song and dance number. Groan. It went from "meh" to bad to worse!
The hardest part after trying to swallow how much we paid for this atrocity was trying to keep Eric in his seat long enough for the cast to take their bows and the staff to open the doors to let us out.
I apologize to anyone who is going to see this play because of the spoilers I included here (not for how shitty it was, I didn't have anything to do with that!) but for those of you that were sitting on the fence about going, you can thank me for helping save you some hard earned money and a couple hours of time you would never have gotten back. If you think for one second it's on the same caliber as Evil Dead Live you'd be dead wrong. No pun intended.
For those of you who saw it and liked it, well a huge props. I guess my expectations were slightly different (I mean why would I assume it would be similar to the movie?). The steep price of the tickets didn't help to diminish that belief either. For that price I was assuming a high quality production. Sound the gong!
Despite the hard work that I'm sure went into making this whole thing, consider this a thumbs down. But of course, these are merely MY opinions, since it is MY blog and all. *winky face*