In 1985, Stuart Gordon directed his first feature film and created a sensation. It was H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator, a huge popular success produced by Brian Yuzna that delivered as many laughs as it did screams, making it a cult classic among horror fans and winning a Critic’s Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Last year Gordon and his cowriters Dennis Paoli and William J. Norris and composer/lyricist Mark Nutter turned Re-Animator into a musical for the stage playing to rave reviews and standing ovations for a sold-out six month run.
RE-ANIMATOR tells the story of Herbert West, a brilliant young medical student who has created a glowing green serum that can bring the dead back to life. What should be a medical breakthrough results in hideous monstrosities and ghastly consequences. “I guess he just wasn’t fresh enough,” is West’s constant refrain as his quest for fresh subjects results in the murders of half the faculty of the medical school.
The original cast is back for The Edinburgh Fringe! George Wendt, best known as the affable Norm from Cheers plays the Dean of the Medical School who West transforms into a mindless zombie. Chris L. McKenna, the star of Gordon’s neo-noir thriller King of the Ants is Dan Cain, Herbert’s hapless roommate who finds himself drawn into the mayhem. And operatic Jesse Merlin, who played the President of the United States in the longrunning The Beastly Bombing is Dr. Carl Hill who loses his head for Meg, the dean’s beautiful daughter (Rachel Avery) only to actually lose it at the hands of Herbert West. But thanks to the glowing re-agent, Dr. Hill is still able to take his curtain call with his head tucked underneath his arm. Rounding out the cast are Mark Beltzman, Cynthia Carle, Brian Gillespie, Marlon Grace and Liesel Hanson, and featuring Graham Skipper as Herbert West.
Winning the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for their work on the show, the special effects team is the same as the 1985 movie: Tony Doublin, John Naulin and John Buechler, joined by Greg McDougal and Tom Devlin. And the blood will flow so freely that the first few rows will be designated as a “splash zone.”
Laura Fine Hawkes, who last designed The Lieutenant of Inishmore at the Taper, will provide the creepy sets, Joe Kucharski the moldering costumes and Jeff Ravitz the cadaverous lighting. Stage managing the madness is the unflappable Mike Lemek.
Mark Nutter is composer and lyricist who also won a LA Drama Critics Circle Award for his cheerfully disturbing score for RE-ANIMATOR THE MUSICAL. His previous stage credits include the international hit The Bicycle Men; Christmas Smackdown (created with the equally demented Cynthia Carle); and Wild Men. He’s also known for his work on 3rd Rock From the Sun, Saturday Night Live.) His recent CD Twisted Songs for Twisted Sophisticates has been banned from the airwaves.
Stuart Gordon directs. Prior to the Re-Animator movie, he spent fifteen years as the founder and artistic director of the Organic Theater of Chicago, where he co-created and directed 37 original productions including Bleacher Bums, and the world premiere of David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Gordon has also directed four more films based on Lovecraft (among them From Beyond and Dagon.) Gordon’s most recent stage credits include the still running NEVERMORE, An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe starring Re-Animator film star Jeffrey Combs.
The winner of 6 LA Weekly awards including Msuical of the Year, RE-ANIMATOR THE MUSICAL is on at the Edinburgh Fringe festival from August 3rd to August 26th at Assembly George Square.
August 1st -3rd are previews starting at 10.40pm with a ticket price of £5
August 4th – 26th are also at 10.40pm with tickets varying between £12-£14.
The musical is not showing on 6th, 13th and 20th August.
For tickets and more info, ring 0131 623 3030 or visit www.reanimatorthemusical.com