Matty Gregg 2 – Courtesy of Matty Gregg
We were fortunate enough to catch up with the very busy producer of the Evil Dead musical in San Jose, California. Matty Gregg is an interesting guy who does productions in a big way. Hear how he’s creating “Movie Musical Theater.”
“Dude, these hoes been zombiefied!” – Scott singing “What the f*** Was That?”
Once Upon a Time in the Woods
Evil Dead the Musical – Cabin Front Porch – Courtesy of Roshi Entertainment
Evil Dead has been a legendary horror franchise for close to four decades now. Lately, with the cancellation of Ash vs Evil Dead and the retirement of Bruce Campbell from playing the character of Ashley J. Williams, the world of Deadites is becoming a hot topic. Hoping to capitalize on that need for all things Necronomicon, Matty Gregg of Roshi Entertainment is going high tech in his approach to Evil Dead the Musical.
At 1428 Elm, we got the chance to speak to him in between his whirlwind of a schedule. Not only is he producing the show but he is also starring as Ash! We were glad he could spare some time for us.
Let’s Do the Time Warp
Evil Dead the Musical – Sign- Courtesy of Roshi Entertainment
1428 Elm: Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get interested in musical theater?
Matty Gregg: Wow, such a question! I became really interested in musical theatre in high school, around the same time I was helping to grow part of a media company. I co-founded a theatre awards organization back in 2002, moved to New York to write a musical in 2004, and decided that I wanted to go into tech for a career!
But doing musical theatre has always been a wonderful hobby and release for me. I always knew that I would try to make it more than just a hobby in my 30s and 40s. I’m just happy that aging gracefully is a thing.
1428 Elm: What attracted you to Evil Dead the Musical? You seem to like the terror element since Rocky Horror was the show you did before ED.
Evil Dead the Musical – Kitchen – Courtesy of Roshi Entertainment
MG: Well, truthfully, the reason we initially decided to do Rocky Horror was because we felt it was safe. I am so familiar with that show, having been a part of it for many years on both East and West coasts. The familiarity allowed us to take risks by pushing the boundaries of technology and animation.
And it ended up being a really revolutionary show. Nobody left our Rocky Horror feeling cheated (at least, not to my knowledge). Everyone thought they had just witnessed an evolution in musical theatre. That’s always great to hear, and its success proved that we were on the right track.
Evil Dead the Musical – Living Room – Courtesy of Roshi Entertainment
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MG (Cont.): There are two main reasons why we wanted to do Evil Dead the Musical. First, we’re massive fans. Almost everyone who is working on this project absolutely loves the original movie for various reasons.
A personal story of mine is how my brother and I would sit down and watch Evil Dead II when we were growing up in the 80s and reciting those movie quotes was a way for us to bond. When I found out the very talented George Reinblatt and his team turned it into a musical in 2003, I was desperately trying to figure out a way to get up to Toronto with my brother to go see it.
MG (Cont.): I waited till it came to New York in 2006 and was first in line to buy a ticket. I sat in the splatter section, got sprayed with copious amounts of blood, and thought to myself: “THIS is how musical theatre should be.”