"George Romero would be proud. The late filmmaker, best known for his B-quality zombie films, passed away in 2017, but Josh Canfield is keeping the genre alive (no pun intended) with more juice and jazz hands than Romero thought possible.
Canfield, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics is quite a talent and offers a diverse range of musical styles. From blues to pop to gospel, this energetic score popped, thanks largely in part to musical director/arranger Taylor Peckham. Canfield’s writing is consistently funny and he keeps the action rolling along at a brisk 75 minutes. Underneath the humor, however, he’s managed to find the humanity and warns us to the dangers of “fearing the other” — a tired, oppressive ideology repeated constantly by a real-life President hell-bent on nationalism.
It’s unclear what the next step for Alive! will be, but if audience reaction is any indication, there is undoubtedly a craving for the material. Monday night’s crowd was so electrifying that even the deceased could hear the applause."
- Ryan Leeds, Medium
"The terrific new sci-fi musical rom-com follows the action from a small town being terrorized by the undead to a magical journey through a secret portal that could help one of them to reconnect with his gentle and loving human soul, and to change more lives in the process.
Unlike many parodies of the horror genre, Alive! is not just over-the-top outrageous, it’s extremely smart, thoughtful, and witty. There are recurrent self-referencing meta-theatrical jokes that break through the fourth wall, conversations and lyrics that capture the emotions of the characters, and songs that reference a wide array of musical styles, from blues and jazz, disco, pop, and country, to romantic ballads and show tunes, all within a well-synthesized, coherent, and harmonious score.
Under the astute direction of Ruttura, the song list of the staged NYMF concert was punctuated by narration, snippets of scenes, and bits of dialogue that allowed the audience to
follow along with the full storyline.
Will the zombies triumph and continue to satiate their horrific flesh-eating drive? Or will love save the day and revitalize the deadened spirits with new life and humanity? Find out when Alive! returns for a full-stage production, which we can only hope will follow this
outstanding development concert very soon."
Deb Miller - DC Metro Theatre Arts