Young Zombies in Love
nytheatre.com review by Maggie Cino
August 15, 2004
Young Zombies in Love lets us know that people can be just as apathetic as zombies sometimes, and that even zombies can live happily ever after if they have true love. But the theme, as with most things about Damian Hess's script, is mostly a vehicle for a whole lot of fun—something everyone involved in this musical realizes. The dancers are acrobatic masters of spatial awareness (there are a lot of them on a reeeaaallllyyy small stage) and the choreography gives them lots of opportunities for leaping and kicking. The script also provides outlines for bold comic characters that the cast explodes. The show’s tribute to Beavis and Butthead are Jimmy and Jamie Fodder, identical twins who look nothing alike. Jeffery Doornbos and Graham Stevens have as much fun playing these parts as we do watching them. Kevin Townley steals the show as Professor Itsucolt, Tombtown High's manically intense Professor of Popular Metaphysics. His song, "Flee! (A Brief History of Zombieism in Western Thought)" is the show stopper, with ten dancers flipping and flying around the tiny stage. And all this by the third scene!
Unfortunately, after this point things begin to flatline. They pick up again whenever the Fodder brothers are onstage, especially during their big number "Zombie King." Another high point is "Ballad of a Lonely Commando," sung by Justin R.G. Holcomb as the S.W.A.T. King. But once the basic zombie facts are established, we’re willing to skip the problems of Nick and Lu, the ingenue couple, who are having trouble getting it on because Nick is afraid they won't be together forever. True love is hard when one of you is undead, but we want to see what happens with the zombies. I won’t give away the ending, but I will tell you Nick finally gets what he wants, and really, so do we—an hour and a half of genuine entertainment.