In 2017, I played my boldest role yet: Cheryl Williams in Evil Dead the Musical. You can read all about that first adventure here!
In 2019, I got to return to the cellar and play her again!
The show was a huge hit for our theatre the first time around, and not only did patrons want to see the show return, but most of cast wanted and was able to come back. I reprised my role and so did our Ash and Jake, but we had an all-new Scotty, Linda/Annie (this time the roles were combined), and Ed. We also had a new fake Shemp (this actor plays a variety of roles including an Evil Tree and Annie’s Ghost Dad) and this time my boyfriend Shane joined me onstage for the first time!
I was honestly so excited to come back as Cheryl. It’s my favorite role I’ve ever played, and I feel like the two years in between really gave me a chance to work on my voice and my stage presence, so I think I was even stronger this time around. Plus, I was definitely a lot less nervous of dancing around in my bra onstage.
We had a pretty short rehearsal process, but a lot of it was getting the new actors caught up to speed and cleaning up what we’d worked on before. It’s interesting to revisit a role- I really focused on how I could improve my performance from the first time, which funny bits to keep and which things to try differently. It really helped to work off of some new actors though! Jeffrey, who played Scotty, played the role completely different and gave me so many different choices to work off of.
I made a new costume this time around! Still with unicorns, though. I kept the same jacket and hairbow too, and the Glee messenger bag, since those pieces seemed so completely Cheryl to me, but I got new sneakers (the old ones never fully recovered.) You can tell that I tried out two different shirts- the lime green was the winner, even though it rapidly got more and more tattered as the show went only. Although maybe that was a good thing! I also sacrificed my old extensions and wore them for this show- they are now exclusively my Cheryl extensions (I’m really really hoping to play her at least one more time in my life.)
I also made Annie’s tearaway dress! It was definitely not perfect at all and I wish I’d had more time to really nitpick it, but the reality is that we were constantly fixing it before each performance. But that’s what happens when you tear, bloody, and wash a dress over and over and over again, I suppose!
What helped this time around it that we didn’t do a 7pm and an 11pm show again. That was way too much for me! Cheryl is a super demanding role, particularly for act 1, and being able to run and scream and belt like that for two shows back to back was ex-haust-ing. We stuck Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night performances instead and it was perfect!
I absolutely loved bringing my favorite stupid bitch to life again (Broadway World called me a “lovable scene stealer”!) and I hope I get at least one more change to play her. That being said, I filmed a whole bunch during our run, so stay tuned if you’d like to see more antics from the cabin in the woods!
(Want to see more of my 2017 Evil Dead shenanigans? You can watch them here!)