I don’t know what surprises me more- That there is a South Korean production of Evil Dead: The Musical playing nightly to sold out audiences or that those audiences are made up of 90% women.
It turns out that the South Koreans love Western musicals and according to a recent article from Variety Asia, Evil Dead: The Musical is currently one of the hottest tickets in Seoul. Of course, there was a little bit of tinkering down to the show in the process of translating it from a raucous, campy splatfest to what Korean audiences are seeing.
Han Saem Song is the independent Korean producer who ounted Evil Dead: The Musical.
He cleverly took the collegiate humor and broadly comic casting of the original and replaced it with a hot young Korean cast who sing and dance far better than their North American counterparts. At times, it looks perilously close to High School Musical, but Song knew what he was doing.
“In Korea, 70% of the audience for most musicals are women,” he explains. “But we go even further. Evil Dead has 90% women most nights, sometimes more.”
Having seen the show twice myself during its Manhattan off-Broadway run, I can only scratch my head at how these changes must look to English-speaking fans of the show.
Meanwhile, both German and Japanese producers are currently bidding on the rights to bring Evil Dead: The Musical to their countries while the show has recently taken to the boards for a fifth time in Toronto since it first premiered in 2003. The new Toronto production, which recently extended its run into the summer, once again stars Ryan Ward as Ash, the role that launched Bruce Campbell to stardom in the original Evil Dead films.
Now, if someone could just confirm those rumors of a film adaptation of the musical…