George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead has been resurrected as a new stage production, Night of the Living Dead Live, that just opened in Toronto.
The first thing you need to know about it is that the staging concept is brilliant: it’s entirely done in black and white. The sets, the costumes, the makeup, the blood… Talk about surreal! You’re sitting in a stage theater but it almost feels like you’re watching an old movie somehow. The creators wanted it to feel just like the original 1968 film. It’s worth seeing just for the novelty of the black and white vision brought to life.
The second thing you need to know about it is that George A. Romero himself wholeheartedly endorses the production. In fact, he will be in attendance at the show on Friday, May 3rd and Saturday, May 4th and participating in a Q&A session after the 7pm performances. When the legendary genius behind the original movie gets behind the stage adaptation, you know it has to be quality.
The team that is involved in bringing this project to life are no schleps. This ain’t your everyday indy or fringe play. It’s 100% talent. Co-written and directed by one of the writers (and director) of Evil Dead the Musical (Christopher Bond), this could be the next big thing for the undead on stage. The actors are top-notch talent with impeccable performances (they nail every nuance of their characters from the film), and clearly the artistic team deserve huge kudos for their achievement in grey scale. There’s even a “moan zone” where fans from the Toronto Zombie Walk have been enlisted to hang out as sort-of “extras” in the show.
Running until May 19th, Night of the Living Dead Live is something fresh and new for Toronto theater. Act one is authentically the movie put on stage and act two is full of surprises. It’s not so campy as to necessarily alienate the horror fans, but you’d have to be a corpse yourself not to find it hilarious at times.
If you’re a zombie fan, a George A. Romero fan, a Night of the Living Dead fan, or just looking for something really different and fun to do, you should definitely check it out. Book your tickets now here.