The Covey Center production of Much Ado About Zombies, written by Becky Baker and William Shakespeare, and directed by yours truly, opens Friday, Oct. 24. Tickets available here. There’s also a super awesome promotional video, featuring Barrett Ogden, Ashley Lammi and Archie Crisanto, doing lines from the play that their characters never actually speak, but why quibble? If you live in Provo, you should see this show. If you live in Orem, or anywhere in Utah north of St. George or south of Idaho, you should see it. Here’s a top Ten (or so) list of reasons why:
Top Ten (or maybe thirteen) List of Reasons to See the Covey Center Much Ado About Zombies.
10) It’s Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Only with zombies. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, only with 50% more zombies than ever before!
9) There’s a strange rumor, as yet unconfirmed, of a unexplained crack in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire England. Another rumor, also unconfirmed, describes a shambling bald bearded figure, dressed in decayed Jacobean clothing, stowing away aboard a fishing trawler operating out of Cornwall. Also, hobos have reported a similar figure climbing onto a train in Halifax, heading westward. One hobo said he overheard this same personage muttering about those ‘who doth disturb these unquiet denizens of underfiend realms’ under his breath. Another hobo, on the same train, had his brains eaten. Who knows what all this portends?
8) We’re talkin’ pure steampunk eye candy. Sets, costumes, lighting, makeup: all of it wicked awesome.
7) You can see Sierra Docken, a snarling, biting, zombie violinist. Also a string zombie trio performing Pachelbel as never before.
6) Also Archie Crisanto, as Friar Frank, a grave robbing, cigarette smoking, gun wielding pastor straight from Hell’s Kitchen.
5) You know the part of Hero? Sweet, innocent, bland Hero, Claudio’s fiancee, Beatrice’s cousin, Leonato’s daughter, and one of the dullest female characters in Shakespeare? Yeah, not in our version. Emily Siwachok creates an edgy, punk rock, feminist Hero. She’s an anti-Hero! (rimshot).
4) Janiel Miller rocks out as Balthazar, Leonato’s court musician and disease vector. With all original music by Keaton Anderson. (Who is himself not, as far as I know, an undead disease vector).
3) So many little touches. The blood in Zombie Kevin’s beard. The visor eye makeup for Conrade (Kristen Perkins). Plus Conrade herself, murderous, but at least conflicted about it. The bayonet at the end of Andrea Mullins’ rifle. Mark Buchanan’s monkish garb. The spinning gears. The fact that the zombie virus glows. Blacklight zombie makeup. The huge honkin’ syringe.
2) Megan Graves, a lovely young woman, relishing a letter from her lover, happily strolls along. And is pursued and eaten by zombies. You know, like happens sometimes.
1) Shakespeare’s fun! Zombies are fun! Dub step dancing: fun!
0) Barrett Ogden and Ashley Lammi make a terrific Benedick and Beatrice. Carter Peterson, an amazing physical actor, is a superb Claudio. Jason Hagey and Chris Curlett make a wonderful Leonato/Don Pedro. Can’t say enough about Sophie Determan and Nick Black as that charming sociopathic couple, Margaret and Borachio. And Jennifer Mustoe, Caden Mustoe and Andrea Mullen, as the bumbling law enforcement team of Dogberry, Verges and Ani. Hannah Witkin’s zombie walk, and dancing. Really, the cast is phenomonal. And I’m entirely, completely objective.
-1) And Kat Webb’s Don John is as nasty a villain as any in Shakespeare. And she wears a black cape to prove it.
-2) Plus Leah Hodson. Who plays the lovesick Messenger, mad about Claudio, but also pursued by Zombie Kevin. And is also a fine zombie cellist. Who told me at our audition that she was kinda afraid of zombies, but now is one.
So there you go! Top Ten (or so) reasons to see it! Tickets selling fast! And can sell faster if you call now! And if you are able to come, I know you’ll have a good time. Promise.