Matty Gregg – Mastermind behind the Evil Dead musical in San Jose

2 of 2

Evil Dead the Musical – Bedroom – Courtesy of Roshi Entertainment

Vision Quest

1428 Elm: Explain your vision for the show because your behind the scenes footage is incredible. That sign is huge and the 3D modeling looks complex.

MG: My company, Roshi Entertainment, is singularly focused on adapting the musical theatre genre into what we’re calling “Movie Musical Theatre.” Evil Dead the Musical is our absolute sweet spot. The script allows us to be everything we want to be: highly interactive with the audience AND create a musical experience that feels like you’re experiencing a live movie.

In order to do that, we need to build a set that has a massive screen so the audience thinks they’re watching a movie. But we also built a video floor so we can do live action and immerse the actors into the scene.

One of the really cool aspects of Evil Dead the Musical is that almost the entire show takes place either in the cabin or in the general vicinity of the cabin in the forest. With a virtual set, this allows us to consider 3D modeling as a way to tell the story.

We can put emphasis where it needs to be by rotating the set on a whim and showing the audience what we want to show them. Rotating the action will be something you can’t do in a traditional musical, NOR is it something that’s easily done in a movie.

The Specter of past Evil Dead Incarnations

1428 Elm: Will you incorporate any Ash vs Evil Dead Easter eggs in the show?

MG: We definitely want to. But there are very specific rules related to what we can do vs. what we can’t. The original musical writers were given the rights to stay within the Evil Dead I/II space.

So, we’re going to stick to that as close as we can. That being said, there will be some subtle homages to the Ash Vs. Evil Dead series. We’ll give a shout out to Jacksonville and maybe even Elk Grove!

1428 Elm: Tell us about your cast. What was the selection process like? Did you try to pick actors and actresses that resemble Ash, Scotty, Linda, Cheryl and Shelly?

MG: You know, we tried to do that where we could. Bruce Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss brought such an iconic look to the Evil Dead franchise that it’s tough to stray from that. But we are doing our best to hold true to the original costuming.

I’m playing Ash, and while I don’t necessarily look like that handsome chin from Oregon, I most definitely feel like I have many of his mannerisms down. We focused on personality, as each character has to be able to carry the show at times.

Curtain Call

1428 Elm: What are the dates of your performances? Are there tickets still available?

More from Horror News

MG: The dates of our performance are the weekends that sandwich Halloween this year, and almost all of Halloween week. We just added a performance because we wanted to attract the really hardcore Evil Dead the Musical fans by having a callback night, similar to Rocky Horror Show. I actually can’t wait to hear the audience say the “BOOMSTICK” speech along with me!

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we’re having a HEAD SHAVING event at our Saturday 10/27 11PM show to raise money for children’s cancer. We’ve already raised $2000 and we think we could do really well if the Evil Dead Universe rallies around this show and this cause!

St. Baldrick’s organization is the beneficiary of this money, and they do a great job at funding research for the worst cancer imaginable… the type that kills kids.

In the grand old theater tradition, break a leg to the cast and crew of this wonderful production for such a worthy cause.

Have you seen Evil Dead the Musical?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.

Next: Ash vs Evil Dead: The end of an era and the King of Jacksonville

Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge as well as Instagram @convirgin. She is also featured on Friday Night Tights, the ultimate pop culture wrap up show at Nerdrotic Podcast every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. You can catch her weekly coverage on IFC’s Brockmire at TV Series Hub.