As Halloween approaches, Chicago is in store for a haunting and hilarious theatrical treat. Broadway in Chicago’s “Evil Dead the Musical” is an uproarious and outrageous show that audience members aren’t likely to forget. Chicagoan cast member Julie Baird recently spoke with The DePaulia about the fun that ensues when a horror film and a musical collide.
The DePaulia: Can you tell me about the show?
Julie Baird: The show is based off the first, second and third movies in the franchise. It is a super fun, over-the-top, campy, inappropriate, bloody, contraption of a show. It is so crazy and a lot of fun. The main goal is just to make people laugh and have a really good time. It’s one of the shows where fans of the movie are really going to love it; they’re going to get a lot of the jokes. It’s got that cult following, so we get a lot of fans who love to scream along with us and sit in the front and get covered in blood. But even for people who haven’t seen the movie, you get the general gist of the horror genre. Five college kids end up at an abandoned cabin in the woods. Of course, they find a book with ghostly chants that release demons from hell, and of course, they read them. So it plays on that genre. Anyone who loves horror is going to have a really good time, as well.
DP: Can you tell me about the character you’ve taken on within the show?
JB: My character is Linda. She is in the first movie and the second movie. Linda is the main hero Ash’s girlfriend. Of course, you know in the beginning they are this perfect sweetheart couple. Then, all Ash’s friends start turning into demons. Linda also turns into a demon, and then poor Ash has to chop his girlfriend’s head off. It’s super fun. I get my head chopped off, so that is something totally new.
DP: That sounds so fun and campy! How is it similar to the movie?
JB: It is a lot like the movies. The only thing that makes it different is that the plot is a hybrid of the first and second movies. So the first movie has the five friends going to the cabin, and then the second movie is more about Annie and Ash and Ed.
DP: What role has acting played in your life thus far, and where do you see it going from here?
JB: Acting is what I’ve been doing since I was in elementary school. I got those VHS videos of Annie and Joseph and all those corny VHSs with the big, puffy cases. It was always my extracurricular activity. I would always do voice lessons and dance. It has always been kind of the set thing that I really love to do. I studied musical theater performance at Western Michigan University, which was super fun. That is kind of the first step where you have to think about your career, which is a really interesting shift for a lot of actors. Everything gets a lot more intense, but, at the same time, the products you are making are bigger and more money and have bigger audiences. It really is a lot of fun. It’s been so wonderful so far. I graduated a year-and-a-half ago, and I have loved every second of being a professional actor. It’s been a lot of traveling, a lot of meeting new people. Your co-workers change almost every four to six months. It is so nice to finally be back in Chicago working on a show.
DP: If you could tell your audience one thing before they see this production, what would it be?
JB: Be prepared to have a great time and scream, and feel free to sing and dance along. Just be open and prepared for anything because we’ve got some really interesting, funny and ridiculous things we are going to throw at you guys!