There’s been no better time to be zombie. Zombie’s are hot right now--from World War Z to The Walking Dead--but Life After Death shows that there's more to a zombie’s life than ambling around looking for brains. In this comedy from New Orleans’ Starlite Starbrite Players, zombies (or “undead Americans” as they prefer to be called) pull out the folding chairs and gather ‘round the coffee pot for a weekly meeting of Undead United, a support group for those struggling to live undead one day at a time.
The premise of Life After Death gives the performers plenty of room to riff on the comic absurdity of brain-eating monsters living otherwise normal lives. There has been no apocalypse, no viral outbreak, just a tainted energy drink that kills people then gives them the juice to rise again. In a group session moderated by a therapist with a handgun, newly turned Phoebe meets the regular attendees, including a middle-aged couple in track suits who currently live in the abandoned mall in New Orleans East and a zombie bro who hides behind makeup and sunglasses in an attempt to pass for living. The performers revel in the broad comedy of the characters, and the costumes and makeup highlight the ghoulishness of the set-up.
Life After Death is billed as musical theater, which is slightly misleading, since the show mostly plays as comic drama, save for the big musical number at the end. There is a soundtrack that plays throughout the show, but at times it was more of a distraction from the dialogue than a dramatic cue. The production plays out like an extended comedy sketch, generating a stream of steady laughs with just enough plot to keep the characters engaged with one another and, at least for now, distracted from their innate craving of brains.
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