“Zombies from the Beyond” is a campy musical melodrama that pays homage to the cheesy science fiction black-and-white movies of the mid-‘50s. It’s a silly sendup, with elements of parody and nostalgia thrown into the mix, driven by solid singing, good acting and decent dancing.
Lead actress Erin Biel plays Molly Malone, a perfectly coiffed ´50s-era ingénue. Kayla Greene turns in a scene-stealing supporting role as Charlene “Charley” Osmanski, a secretary who gets spicy in the dance number “Blast Off Baby.”
Rachel Mender plays Zombina, the headmistress zombie who uses her fullthroated coloratura soprano to disable the menfolk, turning them into bug-eyed minions.
With the exception of Ian Henretty, in a featured role as a tap-dancing delivery boy with a heart of gold, the show’s other men are tepid and indistinct. Henretty is quiet and intently quirky, clear in his performance.
All this manic monkey business is aided by an onstage three-piece orchestra, featuring musical director Sharon Garner on keyboard, Scott Harding on percussion and accordionist Dan Alt. Alt’s creatively dissonant musings and Garner’s riffs combine to create a murky musical ambience.
And what would a sci fi musical satire be without silly props? A tiny flying saucer swinging from a string descends from the rafters, earning laughs, as did the only weapon left to humankind to stop the zombie invasion: a vacuum cleaner. Yeah, it’s that kind of show.
“Zombies from the Beyond”
Over the Ledge Theatre Co. Through Saturday 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday $12 adults/$10 seniors/$7 students Ledges Playhouse, 137 Fitzgerald Park Drive, Grand Ledge (517) 318-0579 overtheledge.org