If there is one thing I learned growing up in the 1980s, it’s that summer camp is always the site of violent accidents and bloody slashers. FRIDAY THE 13TH, SLEEPAWAY CAMP, THE BURNING, CHEERLEADER CAMP… I’m fairly sure that this steady diet of slasher flicks is what kept me out of the woods.
Opening this month in Los Angeles is SLASHED!, a live musical ode to summer camp slashers. Coming in at a tight 40 minutes or so, there isn’t much time for plot twists, but there is plenty of time for silliness. The plot is straightforward: kids at a newly re-opened summer camp are slaughtered by a deranged masked psychopath who died at the camp years earlier due to the negligent camp counselors.
SLASHED! doesn’t take itself seriously. There are plenty of horror movie references that are often accompanied by both a figurative and a literal wink to the audience. (For example: a discussion about a camper named Angela who looks like a girl but has male genitalia. “What do you call that?” one character asks. “I don’t know, it’s 1983 – we don’t have a name for that yet!”)
The cast is made up of delightfully colorful stereotypes; a collection of outsized characters who don’t dare play it straight. There are the new camp owners who are there to fix their marriage; the virgins who are coerced into “sin;” and the roller derby queen who is loud, brash, oversexed – and hilarious. A new character type is added here: the “bad girl” who goes around killing summer camp slashers (she’s killed 12 so far – see, I knew summer camp slashers were an epidemic!). For more info or to buy tickets, visit https://www.facebook.com/SlashedTheMusical