I love Zombies. I think they’re cool, and so do all the other people who stood in line to see this show with me. And it was written by the same dude who composed Rocky Horror Picture Show.
I mean, c’mon, they’re un-dead and a bit ambivilant, which is sort of like me and everyone else I know, so what’s not to like? Well, if it’s Landless Theatre’s Diamond Dead at the Warehouse theatre, a whole lot, apparently. This show has been my disappointment of Fringe ’08.
The stage is set for a rocking out with skulls galore and a projector, and a couple of headstones that would be reminiscent of a little brother’s first garage band as NTV veejay Pussy takes the stage in an audience warm-up that’s meant to get the rocking rolling.
The problem comes with the fact that such warm-ups are only good when you can sit on your couch at home and channel surf. Having to watch four people who I don’t know sing metal that they themselves don’t know doesn’t prime me for a sense of community that the evening might want to bring. And so, the tone was set for the rest of the evening.
Aramaggedon’s upon the band and us as the first chords of the evening are struck. We are unwitting witnesses to the two plot-lines: global catastrophe and long awaited to be realized love. And apparently the far right in America knows about the first part. The group is being protested by a religious zealot and cousin of G.W. who have come to protest the band’s presentation.
- This forced political dialogue offered one of the low points in the evening, first because it doesn’t belong. Fact: Zombies don’t care about politics. They care about rock. And even if this fact is wrong (which I doubt), don’t be unclever in this town about it. The result gives the short stick to a rather sweet little love between a human and the man she made undead.
What’s frustrating about these 90 minutes is that there is an abundance of talent on that stage. Everyone can sing, everyone can play, and when the group is jamming out to accessibly full throttle rock hits “This Girl Can Rock”, “Seize the Night”, and “Crash Test Dummies in Love”, the audience is totally smitten. The lead singer Aria DeWinter exudes sex appeal and angst, while the remainder of the band appear to have danced out of Tim Burton’s imagination. It should have been a great night dappled with moments of quirky fun, but in focusing on the spectacle, the story being told cannabalized. Ironic, but unfortunately, not entertaining.
Running time: 90 minutes
- Tickets: Diamond Dead is closed.