It's been a few weeks since Pamela and I took in Re-Animator - The Musical at the Steve Allen Theatre. I wasn't there in any official capacity as reviewer; this was strictly pleasure, not business for me. I am quite taken with The Steve Allen since dropping in on Ron Lynch's Tomorrow! back in May. My comedy partner Phillip Kelly and I subsequently took our neo-vaudeville act "Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy" to Tomorrow! and we had a blast. The audience was feisty and engaged and I enjoyed watching Ron work his magic from the wings (the man is a tremendous emcee).
Backstage at Tomorrow! I ran across a Re-Animator program and to my delight discovered that the music and lyrics were by Mark Nutter. I was first exposed to Nutter at Xmas Smackdown, an irreverent holiday show up in the Valley. My wife performed a burlesque number for one evening of that show, and I discovered Mark "Baby Shredder" Nutter. I was already aware that Re-Animator was the one show in Hollywood that boasts a splash zone. Nutter's name on the production sealed the deal.. And so plans were hatched, tickets were purchased, and soon enough we found ourselves in the third row of the splash zone as the lights dimmed and the overture began.
That splash zone? Absolutely, delightfully necessary.
Nutter's songs are tight, clever and laugh-out-loud funny in their own right. (For Cthulu's sake PLEASE record a cast album!!!) The cast is fully committed to the mania, and each and every one of the players gives a stand-out performance. From Brian Gillespie's scene stealing janitor to Jesse Merlin's operatic übercreep, Dr. Hill there is not one wasted choice, not one perfunctory moment. This show is balls-out from open to close.
Re-Animator is full of surprising solutions to staging problems. I dare say Stuart Gordan is a genius, and it kickstarts my own theatrical heart to see his work on stage.
Re-Animator - The Musical is brought to life Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8:00 pm through August 14th. The Steve Allen Theatre is located in The Center for Inquiry, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood.
Tickets are $15 for CFI members and students, $30 for everyone else. (Check Goldstar for discount tickets.) Ticket info may be found here.
Don't be a puss. Sit in the splash zone and revel in it!