Written by Nathan Deane
Darkness falls across the land, and the midnight hour is close at hand. Yes, that time of year is here again. And as Halloween approaches, the hunt for blood-filled musical starts again. Finding musicals that will scare the living daylights out of you yet keep your feet tapping along is hard, but fear not! Here are my top 5 musicals that are perfect Halloween! And don’t worry, at the bottom of the article there are links to buy the cast recordings for each show.
5) The Toxic Avenger
Meet Melvin Ferd The Third – an aspiring scientist, who wants nothing more than to save his town of Tromaville from being killed by the rapidly expanding amounts of toxic waste. When Melvin gets thrown into a vat of toxic goo, he emerges as The Toxic Avenger – a mutant with superhuman strength. This musical is brilliantly funny and catchy. And it’s also currently playing in the West End! Click here to read our five-star review of The Toxic Avenger.
4) American Psycho
Patrick Bateman is a successful Wall Street banker with a secret – he’s also a serial killer. Based on a book by Brett Easton Ellis and a 2000 film starring Christian Bale, this musical had a brief run in London at the Almeida Theatre before making the leap to Broadway in 2016 where, unfortunately, it flopped. However, the show is full of catchy songs and iconic lines from both the movie and the book. Also, it has starred Matt Smith. If that interests you…at all.
As the rhyme goes, “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks.” And that’s what this musical is about. This musical is a guitar-shredding, face-melting rock-fest based on the true story of the Borden murders. Basically, one autumn day in 1892, Abby Durfee-Borden and her husband Andrew Borden were found dead in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Andrew’s youngest daughter, Lizzie Borden, was trialled for the crimes and eventually acquitted. The case remains unsolved to this day. The show is limited to a cast of four women, and they kill every number their in! A particular highlight of the show is the act one finale, in which Lizzie murders her parents, displayed with watermelons. Click here to read our five-star review of Lizzie!
Carrie is an infamous musical. It opened in Stratford in the late 80’s, to mixed reviews, starring Barbara Cook, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Linzi Hateley. The show went through major script and technical re-writes, especially after Barbara was almost decapitated by a set piece. It opened on Broadway in the same year and received horrendous reviews. The show closed after 3 performances and 16 previews. It was classed as the biggest Broadway flop of all time. The show had a revival Off-Broadway in 2012, with MASSIVE revisions made. The show was far better received, and the show has enjoyed successful runs in London and LA since. The musical tells the story of Carrie White – a shy girl, bullied for her religious upbringing by her abusive mother. Carrie is also gifted with telekinesis – the ability to move things with the mind. When a group of bullies dump a bucket of blood on her at prom, all hell breaks loose. It’s based on a Stephen King novel and movie, so you know it’s gonna be horrifying.
1) Evil Dead
“Ah yes, Evil Dead. The movie about a group of teenagers who go to an abandoned cabin in the woods and resurrect a pact of ancient demons that have possessed the entirety of the cabin, including the woods surrounding said cabin and kill the teenagers one by one? Sounds like perfect material for a musical!” said no-one ever. Yet a team of creatives from Canada set out to turn the trilogy of movies into “the next Rocky Horror” – complete with singing and dancing demons! It’s a hilarious musical, including a musical number complete with instructions on how to dance along! Move over, Time Warp. The show has enjoyed success all around the USA and Canada, and I think it may be the time the UK enjoyed some of that success.