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Sutter Street splashes into spooky season

Local actors turn to gory laughs with ‘Evil Dead: The Musical’
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Sutter Street Theatre, known for feel-good shows like “Alice in Wonderland” and “Escanaba in da Moonlight,” is taking a dark turn in honor of Halloween. The theater will be doing “Evil Dead: The Musical,” directed by Mi-chael Coleman, a musical based on the cult classic “Evil Dead” film series. Connie Mockenhaupt serves as the musical director on the show. “If you’re going to come to see to show, you have to call ahead and state whether or not you want to be in the splash zone but if you don’t, you might get splashed with blood if you’re closer to the front,” said Mockenhaupt. “Especially the musical direction, when you ask the actors to go back to a specific line, instead of it being, ‘What a beautiful morning,’ it’s ‘What the (expletive) is that?’ It’s very different, because I don’t speak like that.” A dozen actors bring the story to life, or, un-life, depending on the characters. There are a slew of midnight shows slated at the theater. “We did late night shows when we did ‘Plaid Tidings,’ also,” Mockenhaupt said. “This isn’t our first time doing late shows.” Dennis Curry plays Jake, a character from the “Evil Dead 2” film. He’s a “country boy who guides the characters to the cabin in the woods.” “It’s literally the most fun I’ve ever had, because of the material,” Curry said. “My knees, which were pretty bad — I’m turning 57 next month — are doing much better. I’ve lost eight pounds on this. I told the director he needs to start doing an exercise class around this. I encourage people to do musical theater to lose weight.” Curry is currently on the Sutter Street Theatre stage as Herr Schultz in “Cabaret.” “I love the contrast (with Schultz),” Curry said. “In this, I’m the one who sings ‘Ode to an Accidental Stabbing.’ I’m also a filmmaker and love doing horror. I’m familiar with stage blood and people who sit in the first few rows can get splattered. It’s very tongue in cheek.” The cast also includes Katherine Folsom, Brent Dirksen, Amanda Yount, Christine Alvarez, Troy Thomas, Aaron Boyer, Jessica Larrick, Christopher Celestin, Ashlie Chimero, Steven Fiedler and Elio Gutierrez as Ash. The show is recommended for adults and mature teenagers. Check sutterstreettheatre.com for details. The other new production at the theater is “Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The show opens at 8 p.m. Oct. 28 and runs Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. through Nov. 27. * * * ‘Evil Dead: The Musical’ When: 8 p.m. on Oct. 13, 16, 21-23, 30-31; 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 21, 22, 27-31 Where: Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom Cost: $23 general, $21 senior or SARTA, $18 students with student ID Info: (916) 353-1001, sutterstreettheatre.com