Ahh, Wisconsin, home of cheese, the Packers and, er, serial killers.
“The Texas Chainsaw Musical!”, which plays July 19 through July 27 at the Black Box at the OperaDelaware Studios in Wilmington, is based on the life of most famous Wisconsinite this side of Brett Favre: serial killer Ed Gein.
“I don't know why they make crazy cannibals there. [Jeffrey] Dahmer is from there, too, and by coincidence, my composer, Cory [Bytof], he's from Wisconsin,” says playwright Christopher Minori. “I don't sleep over his house anymore. Not around dinner time.”
The warped story of Gein, who murdered and fashioned costumes out of corpses in the '50s, has also inspired numerous horror flicks, including “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Psycho,” and “Silence of the Lambs.”
“All these things that have become stereotypes in serial killers, he was the guy,” Minori says. “The horribleness of it draws people to it. It's kind of like driving past an accident. You don't really want to see the bodies lying out in the street, but you kind of do a little."
Like the title of the play suggests, there's a chainsaw and music. And plenty of blood.
“'The Texas Chainsaw Musical!' has more to it, including more splatter, edible body parts and items thrown into the audience," says Rosanne DellAversano of Wilmington's Bootless Stageworks, the company staging the upcoming run.
Chances are you won't be able to run too far from this killer of a show. It's also being presented in Cleveland and San Francisco in the fall.
“With the play, a lot of it is nostalgia. The title, people hear it and say, ‘Oh, I got to see this.’ Then they go and they're surprised because there's some real poignant moments,” Minori says. “Every time it shows, it gets bigger and bigger.”
If you go
“The Texas Chainsaw Musical!”
July 19, 20, 26 , 27, 8 p.m.
Black Box at OperaDelaware
4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington, Del.
$18/$22 for splatter zone seats