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Zombies come alive in theatrical Shakespearean romp

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Photographs by Matt Vacca.

F-bombs, threatening fairies and flesh-eating crack-addicts (ahem, zombies).

Chico State’s School of the Arts‘ production of “Living Dead in Denmark,” written by Qui Nguyen and directed by Katie Whitlock, is gruesomely awesome and diabolically funny.

In the play, various characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Tempest” are involved in a zombie war to determine which is more corrupt: humanity or magic.

If Shakespeare is a turn-off for some students or theater-goers, hast nay feareth: the performance is in English. As in every day, this-is-how-I-talk-to-my-local-grocer English.

It also features a killer soundtrack with contemporary tracks, often accompanied with strobe-light effects, of course.

For those hyped from Sunday’s season five premiere of “The Walking Dead,” this fall’s first theater production is also a must-see.

Lady Macbeth, more commonly referred to as Lady M, is portrayed by Kelly Kassir, who owns the stage with her cheeky come-backs and kick-ass cornrows.

Puck (Sidus Choup) is brilliant as a hip-thrusting, back-sassing charmer who still thinks the pull-my-finger joke is in style.

Horatio (Eric Dobson) and Hamlet (Steve Sprague) take epic to a whole new level during their battle to Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead.”

And who could forget Ophelia, played by the fierce Erin Duffey, who is reprising her role, albeit a different version, from last spring’s School of the Arts production of “12 Ophelias.”

Gail Holbrook, a retired professor from Chico State’s theater department, said that people should come see the performance more than once because of all the classical and pop culture references.

Such as a certain twerking, foam-finger sporting pop-star.

Gina Lorenzi, a sophomore agriculture education major, used to act when she was younger and said watching the production made her want to get involved with Chico State theater.

“Of all the productions I’ve seen, including professional, this is one of the best,” Lorenzi said. “It’s very engaging.”

Audience members should try to use the bathroom before the play starts: those that stick around for intermission are in for a thrilling treat from the cast members.

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Play Details

  • Date: Oct. 16-19
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Oct 16-18, 2 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19.
  • Location: Larry Wismer Theatre
  • Price for Chico State student: $6

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Emma Wood-Wright can be reached at [email protected] or @emmawoodwright on Twitter.

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Zombies come alive in theatrical Shakespearean romp