Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ferndale Covered in Blood & Mead

I don’t go on hay rides or tour haunted houses – I’m too scared, not of monsters in costumes, but because my imagination won’t allow me to escape the thought that these fictitious horror scenes would make the perfect cover for an actual serial killer. Strangely, I tend to hate theatre for the exact opposite reason. I can’t suspend my disbelief. And while I can appreciate art and imagination, I can never shake feeling nervous for the actors - certain they’re going to forget a line or trip and fall.

Enter Evil Dead: The Musical – the first time I’ve been moved by theatre. Last night at Ferndale’s Ringwald Theatre, Who Wants Cake? changed everything for me. Here's a link if you need a little background on Evil Dead: The Musical – because I did – and here’s a quick video snippet (from another performance) to give you a sense of this bloody mess -

Local Detroit-area actors absolutely nailed it – so funny it didn’t matter that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief, and so bloody I had no choice but to get wrapped up in the horror and gore. Instead of feeling nervous for the actors, I was cheering for them to trip and fall, hoping they’d impale themselves with a dagger or land on a shotgun. Every member was perfect for his or her role, and made sure to liven the show with well-timed gushes of blood. Forget about “splatter zone” boundaries being confined to the first two rows. The entire audience was hosed with theatrical blood from chainsaws, axes, shotguns, and demons.

I’m convinced one of the stagehands had a hose aimed straight at my crotch. Don’t wear anything nice to this event (like a new cashmere sweater, for example, or pants). I never thought I’d say this, but not only will I see this play again (next time in a hooded sweatshirt), I’ll definitely be making a return trip to Ferndale for the upcoming production of David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries.

After the show, I made my first trip to Woodward Avenue Brewing Company. The doorman happily ignored my bloody jeans. I’d tried WAB’s beer before, so I knew I’d enjoy the drinks. I was shocked to find the place so busy, and the crowd so diverse– not nearly as “hipster” as I’d feared - very non-poser. Good pumpkin beer, and a sangria-esque cocktail made with mead from the local B. Nektar Meadery.

“What the fuck was that?” That was Ferndale making a believer. Demons, chainsaws, and upcoming anti-holiday cheer have inspired a newfound interest in the theatre. Who Wants Cake? Turns out I do. Look who’s evil now.