“Night of the Living Dead” Review


Photo Credit: Lily Vita of Beyond the Page Theatre Company

It was a chilly autumn evening in rural Pennsylvania. Scattered leaves covered the ground. The setting sun imparted a crimson and violet hue upon the rows of tombstones as Barbara (Kat Amato) and her brother Johnny (Tony Lemus) entered the cemetery and placed a wreath of flowers on their father’s grave, unaware of the staggering figures approaching in the distance. Things quickly turn gruesome when a zombie attacks Johnny, feeding on his flesh as he cried out in agony. Members of the living dead swarmed the theater, their guttural growls echoing in the ears of the audience.

They were truly a frightening sight – their tattered clothing, sunken faces, and life-like mutilations evoked the terrifying reality of life in a post-apocalyptic world. Barbara escaped to an abandoned farmhouse, where she encounters the fearless zombie-slayer Ben (Jonathan Barger), the Cooper family (Josh Turner, Lorna Ryan, and Valentina Selnick), and couple Tom and Judy (Joe Hickey and Juliana Sprague).

The rest of the night surrounded the characters’ ultimate dilemma: what should they do? Tension escalated among the group as their impending fate seems to draw closer and closer, with only wooden planks and glass to shield them from the man-eating monsters that lurked just outside.

With a “splash zone” in place during the showings, one of the most impressive parts of the theatrics were the special effects. However, less impressive is the amount of action on stage at once. Although all the actors, whether zombies lurching around the theater or humans running frantically in a house, do add to a sense of urgency to the show it can be a bit overwhelming. This can make it difficult to focus on what the lead actors are doing, however they were able to pull it off well.

Overall, this production offers superb acting, shockingly realistic gore, and thrilling stunts, “Night of the Living Dead” is sure to satisfy!