I love a good horror origin story, and even more, I love when it's presented in musical form. One of the most anticipated shows that had it's premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival was Chelsea Stardust's SLASHED! THE MUSICAL, which combined the aforementioned origin story and musical adaptation in a way that perfectly captured 80's horror, snarky humor, and the introduction to a new, if not slightly misunderstood, horror icon.
SLASHED! THE MUSICAL takes the audience back to the summer of 1983 where everyone is gearing up for fun, sun, and buns at Camp Freedom. However, not everything is as it seems, as we quickly learn that Camp Freedom, aka Camp Doom, has a horrifying legacy of murder and carnage. You see, decades ago, Little Peetie Jergins died a horrible death due to his camp counselors lack of attention because of drugs and sex. Now, Little Peetie Jergins is back for vengeance - chopping and hacking each and every person at Camp Doom who give into the temptations of the flesh and/or smokes the reefer. It's all the familiar tropes you have come to love from the slasher genre, but brought to life in a way that's fun and humorous, with a touch of heart and a decent amount of bloodshed.
When it comes to the acting, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was superb. Fayna Sanchez, who plays our narrator Looney Lucy, was absolutely brilliant as she tries to warn the campers of the impending doom by regurgitating the story of Little Peetie Jergins. Elissa Wagner played the babelicious jock who's main focus was working out, looking good, and getting ass. She was absolutely hysterical and one of my favorite parts of the show. Kristyn Chalker plays Paige. the badass counselor who has already gone through something eerily similar at another campground... However, who I was really blown away with was Sean Keller, who's sheer talent was responsible for bringing to life Little Peetie Jergins. Not only was he flawless in his role, the man can sing like none other and was also responsible for writing the book, music, and lyrics of the show.
What makes SLASHED! work so well is all the passion that went into the production. Rising director, Chelsea Stardust, was able to bring this story to life by having a team of talented actors, singers, and producers that were just as passionate as she was. Though the sets were minimal, the direction given to the actors allowed for the space to come to life and it was easy for the audience to imagine and feel as though they were immersed in Camp Doom. My only critique for SLASHED! would be that I wished it was longer. I wanted to learn so much more about the characters, especially Looney Lucy and Peetie Jergins!
Overall, this has been one of my favorite events at Hollywood Fringe. It's funny, slightly horrifying, and has some of the catchiest music that will keep you singing for days after. The dance numbers are a hoot (shout out to Rebekah McKendry who did the choreography) and everyone involved looked like they were having an absolute blast. If I could recommend one theatrical performance to go to it would be SLASHED! A MUSICAL, hands down. As of right now, their entire run is sold out, but make sure to visit their Facebook page to keep up to date with any last minute openings. Also if you are a fan of the music, or want to hear the entire album, it's available to download for FREE at https://slashedthemusical.bandcamp.com.