From Alice Cooper to GWAR to Marilyn Manson, sinister schlock and rock have always gone hand in (severed) hand. Music artists embellishing their stage show with theatrical thrills will never cease (even Lady Gaga's got monsters and creepy makeup), but an established stage production adding thrashing sounds to its already successful production? That's new. Aiming to go out with a bludgeoning bang during its extended run (thru May 29) at the Steve Allen Theatre, the highly entertaining Re-Animator, The Musical is pumping up the volume before the show with opening sets by local weirdo rockers — and free beer! — during all of its Friday night midnight presentations. And what better band to kick off the carnage this past Friday, than LA's own Rosemary's Billygoat, known for props ranging from satanic pizzas to roasted baby dolls?
Of course Re-Animator offers macabre madness even without the new Fright night opening band element. The acting is campy but believable at the same time, and though the same can't be said for the effects (decapitated heads, zombies, and plenty of guts and bloody, squirty props that get so messy, the first few rows of the theatre are designated Sea World-like “splash zones” requiring patrons to wear provided plastic ponchos) it's a horror-themed hoot just the same. Most notable, the soundtrack by composer Mark Nutter, which is as catchy as it clever, if rather lo-fi (musical accompaniment consists mainly of keyboard).
More Sweeney Todd than Rocky Horror Picture Show, this sick little production's resurrection of the 1985 cult film (inspired by the orignal HP Lovecraft story) in song and sight gags is already a terrorific to-do for goths, punks and cult film freaks on its own. Now with the new loud and looney rock band lead-in late Fridays, it's to die for.
Mark your calendar (in red) for this Friday the 13th when the OC's own Radioactive Chickenheads — a collective of costumed crazies who, fittingly, spew songs about everything from zombies to eating kids (it's not as bad as it sounds, see the video below) — take the stage while it's still dry.
– Catch Rosemary's Billygoat open up for metal mashers Impaler at the Black Castle (855 W. Manchester Blvd.), Sat., May 21.
– See Re-Animator-The Musical's full schedule and Friday night band bookings on its website.
– Follow Lina Lecaro on Twitter at @L_in_A.