Zombies on the loose

Musical opens Friday in Eagle River


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From left, Jana Bryner, Brad Bernik, Oscar Scott, Amalia Morse and Andrew Lochner rehearse a scene from “Shake Rattle and Rot: The Zombie Musical” on Sept. 25. The show opens Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy in Eagle River.

MIKE NESPER

All this month, zombies will be on the loose in Eagle River.

The Alaska Fine Arts Academy is putting on eight shows of “Shake Rattle and Rot: The Zombie Musical” every Friday and Saturday of October at 7 p.m.

A group of teens who were killed in the 1950s come back to life for one night. All of the gang is set on wreaking havoc — except for Andrew. A romantic, Andrew falls for a living girl, Louise.

The show, set in present day, is a “fusion of 50s of today,” said director Robin Bassett. “People will recognize some of the songs.”

The show’s several puns will have the audience in stitches, said Andrew Lochner, who plays Andrew.

“We got the pun gun. It’s fully loaded,” he said.

Making it through rehearsals with a straight face is no easy task, said Brad Bernik, who plays the zombies’ leader, Zeke.

“It’s very funny,” he said. “It’s energetic.”

“There’s some brutal tragedy, too,” Lochner added.

If anyone is in need of a night of goofy comedy, this production won’t disappoint, Lochner said.

“You have to go into it thinking, ‘I’m going to see something incredibly silly,’” he said.

Despite the fact that it takes an hour and a half to apply makeup to all of the “dead” characters, Alexandra Rees-Benyo took the job immediately.

“I volunteered,” she said. “I was so excited. I’m really into Halloween.”

Bassett’s version of the show differs from the original musical written by Leslie J. Caulfield. Bassett said she and the cast extended the original one-act play to two acts and tweaked some of the songs and dialogue.

“We’ve done some updating,” she said.

Though it’s full of zombies, the production isn’t gory, Bassett said. She gave it a PG rating.

“Shake Rattle and Rot” opens Friday, Oct. 4. A free dress rehearsal will be put on today (Thursday, Oct. 3) at 7 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.akfinearts.org or by calling 694-8909. General admission is $14 — seniors, military and children 12 and younger are $12.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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