Based loosely on the 1984 award winning horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street the almost as scary and energetically fun parody Bad Dream on Elm Avenue recently took to the stage premiering at the Atwater Theatre in Los Angeles. Ryan Mercer, Christopher W. Barnes in association with Bridge Falls Entertainment and Sheena Metal Productions joined forces to produce this fifth show in the popular “Unauthorized” series of musicals. Yes, it is a musical.
Fittingly it opened just a few weeks before Halloween and it proved to be one highly unique show on several levels. The clear star of the show is the towering Erika Ervin, perhaps best known for her role in the hit TV series American Horror Story. At just shy of seven feet tall Erika was a commanding vision on the stage, which in this production extended into the audience as well.
Watching Erika in action and indeed the entire cast and the essence of the show brought back memories of the Asian Intrigue nightclub that once graced Soi Nana in Bangkok, Thailand. That nightclub put on a show every night around 9 p.m. or so that was always somewhat of a horror show and also a tease. Their shows were always supremely entertaining and weird but in a fun loving and memorable way as was A Bad Dream on Elm Avenue.
The murderous dream sequences were illuminated by song as the clearly talented cast carried the audience from one horrifying death dream to another and ultimately to a positive resolution. Bringing it all together were fellow cast members Sarah Mullis, Cy Creamer, Desiree Nash, Jeff Locker and Amber Petty.
For me one scene in particular stood out and it was to some extent a simulated sex scene, but rather than trashy it was supremely hilarious. Not only that, the way it presented was unique adding to the overall comedic value.
The only significant negative I found was in the audio balance or rather the lack of it. The venue is modest and apparently does not offer much in the way sound control. The actors do not have microphones and there is no sound board for optimum audio control. Consequently on a few occasions the keyboard over powered the vocals. But that issue will undoubtedly be resolved when the show continues.
As for right now, however, the final curtain has come down on Bad Dream on Elm Avenue as the show is in hiatus for likely relaunch in the near future. So keep reading right here because this show will make you scream, giggle and smile all at the same time. It is a very weird but highly enjoyable theatrical presentation.
Photos by Filmmakers Gallery unless otherwise noted
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.