I love road trips. Getting in your car and driving wherever the road takes you is the ultimate expression of freedom. It’s rather like writing in that respect. I can go where I want with the characters, drive them in whichever direction I like. And it’s amazing the ideas that come to you when you have no thoughts in your head beyond what’s around the next curve. (As a safety tip, don’t try to jot down those ideas while driving. Investing in a voice recorder is safer, or knowing how to turn on that function on your phone without looking. I’ve succumbed to the urge to write and drive at the same time, and it’s a good thing I was on an empty stretch of highway through the desert with nothing in my way.)
On this trip, I hit three new-to-me national parks, had the best view of the Milky Way that I’ve seen yet, and hiked through some amazing scenery. But what impressed me the most was the spur-of-the-moment outing I took in Vegas on my way back home. I saw Evil Dead: The Musical. Yes, at a small theatre on the strip, one of the greatest worst-movies-ever has been made into a theatrical production. And it was awesome.
In order to appreciate Evil Dead: The Musical, you’d already have to be a fan of Sam Raimi’s early genius. I heard one patron behind me whisper during the show that it was bad, and I don’t think he meant in the “this is so bad I’m falling off my seat laughing” kind of way. But there will always be one or two ignorant cretins who can’t appreciate true art.
Evil Dead: The Musical is the highest rated horror, comedy musical playing in Vegas, and that’s a list of one that’s hard to top. Sitting in the splatter zone costs extra, but you get to take away a gore-coated t-shirt to help remember the evening by. (Although, after seeing the aftermath, I’m glad I went with general admission.)
I liked how the musical didn’t follow the plot for Evil Dead (the movie) point for point, but made it their own. The writers had a fine line to walk between creating something distinctive and paying homage to their inspiration. They did it well. Their Ash was fantastic, and watching demon-possessed bodies sing and dance is always a good time. My only complaint was the couple of political jokes they threw in, which I think is almost always a mistake, but that’s a blog post for another time.
So if you’re ever in Vegas and get tired of the fine-dining and fancy Cirque shows, go slum it with the Evil Dead musical.
And since I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside the theatre, I’ll share some snaps of the rest of my road trip. They’re no Ash cutting off his hand with a chainsaw, but they’re still rather pretty.
And the prettiest picture yet. If you live in CA like me, you'll understand.