Re-Animator: The Musical - review & video interviews

Re-Animator: The Musical - review & video interviews
Based on the film H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator. Directed by Stuart Gordon. Produced by Brian Yuzna. Music and lyrics by Mark Nutter. Cast includes George Wendt, Jesse Merlin, Graham Skipper, Chris L. McKenna, and Rachel Avery.
Updated: 03-09-2011


The idea of bringing horror to the theater is nothing new — perhaps best-known is the grand guignol genre (the gory plays were performed mainly at the Théâtre du Grand Guignol from 1897 to 1962), but we've also had Sweeny Todd, Lestat, and The Fly: The Opera, to name a few of the higher-profile ones.

Re-Animator: The Musical isn't on Broadway or a big opera house, but it's no less valid in its verve. Directed the helmer of the original 1985 shock-cinema classic, Stuart Gordon (who's no stranger to the stage, having brought us Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allen Poe, among others), Re-Animator: The Musical features a relative unknown, Graham Skipper, in the iconic role of Dr. Herbert West (originally played on film by Jeffrey Combs), and he steals the show — as well he should!

The sci-fi horror musical comedy follows the exploits of West, just as the mad scientist discovers the secret to everlasting existence. It's in the form of a glowing green liquid that, when injected into a cadaver (of even pieces of a corpse), jolts it back into life. The first guinea pig is a cat, a black cat (hello, Poe!) at that, belonging to West's roommate, medical student Dan Cain. When Cain's girlfriend, Dean's daughter Meg, discovers the sinister goings-on, all hell breaks loose — and everyone breaks into song.

The play is super well-acted across the board, and the songs are hilarious. (Personally, I did not care for the genre of music — very Sondheim-like — but Nutter's a lyrical firecracker). There are some great props, including a twisted, disarticulating Rufus-kitty puppet, the famous fridge that keeps the serum chilled, and, of course, a few disembodied heads. There's also a zombie-dance homage to the Thriller video, and a gleeful gushing spree as West splashes the entire front row with "blood" (barely water-proof ponchos are provided for those in the splash zone, but they really didn't seem to do much to quell the tide).



As a fan of the original film, I have to give it up for this adaptation which — while I, not a big aficionado of live theater, found a bit over-long at times — hits all the right beats, bringing back to life all my favorite moments and ramping them up to joyous, comedic and subversive effect. If should be noted though, that this play is not technically grand guignol: those too squeamish to have seen the film, can safely catch this over-the-top, fun spectacle and need not worry about ensuing nightmares.

The show opened on March 5 and will run throughout the month in Hollywood, CA. To get your tickets, visit


Based on the classic 1985 cult horror hit.

Funny. Bloody. Tuneful.

Music and lyrics by Mark Nutter
Book by Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon, and William J. Norris
Directed by Stuart Gordon
With George Wendt, Rachel Avery, Mark Beltzman, Cynthia Carle, Brian Gillespie, Marlon Grace, Liesel Hanson, Chris L. McKenna, Jesse Merlin and Graham Skipper.

The Steve Allen Theater
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027

Parking lot behind the building.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday at 8:00 PM
Admission $25.
Reservations: 1-800-595-4TIX (595-4849)
Open seating. Come early and sit up front in the "splash zone."


Latest User Comments:
I'm still in shock about this lol
03-17-2011 by Fearonsarms discuss