Saturday, November 12, 2011

Listening to the Groans of Ghouls on Midnight Radio

By Bratzilla
Since the clock struck midnight on Oct. 31, I have to admit that Brizblack and I have been experiencing quite a bit of Halloween withdrawal. Happily, we unearthed a cure last night when hordes of infected ghouls clawed their way through the earth in Downtown Pittsburgh and headed to Bricolage for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Convening at this gruesome oasis in a time when most other fiends around town have long packed away their holiday decorations, we were more than a little darkly delighted when we stepped into the Bricolage lobby to find cobwebs and twisted trees, a bright orange accent wall with the name of the theatre dripping with a black, tarry goo, freshly-dug (or, perhaps, freshly disturbed) graves, chocolate brains and rats, complementary spider and skull rings, and a zombification station. The reason for all of this? Simple. It set the scene for a radio parody of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

Okay, I know, we’ve all seen the movie a million times. But trust me when I say that you’ve never seen it like this, and probably won’t again unless you get your rotting corpse over to Bricolage. With parts of the film projected on a screen behind them, the incredibly talented performers who make up this season’s Midnight Radio crew perfectly collide to put a raunchy, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style spin on the classic that even rabid fans would appreciate by creating quirky sounds effects and giving voice to all of the things you always wished Barbara, Johnny, Ben and the rest would say, but don’t.

But what really made us a cry in a good way were the commercial interludes that touted such apocalypse essentials as Mr. Clean (can it clean a bloody corpse, well of course!), Al Pacino’s “Scent of a Dead Woman” perfume, Cremation, and The Afterlife; fake breaking news from Monroeville Mall; creeptastic musical performances by Cello Fury; and a hilarious Pittsburgh-true performance of Aunt Mag – the yinzer next door who works on an antidote for a family member who’s craving “brains a’nat.”

And, of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without a raucous Mad Lib reading, telling the sordid tale of a newborn zombie with the most disgusting words radio play-goers could muster pre-show (think milk steak and fungus). There was even an audience participation game show called Zombie Feud for which yours hauntingly was randomly selected to participate. Needless to say, this gore-obsessed gal cleaned haunted house and put her undead competitor in his ghoulish place.

Obviously, we’ve been bitten by the excitement of this show, and if you’re feeling the virus coursing through your veins too, we highly suggest that you lurk on over to the theatre tonight, Nov. 12, or next weekend, Nov. 18 and 19. Bricolage means “making artful use of what is at hand,” and by putting together an accessible performance that can make you laugh, cry and writhe with disgust, they have done just that. I, for one, can’t wait to see what kinds of terrors Midnight Radio comes up with next. But, until then, we congratulate them on creating one apocalypse we wish never had to end.


  1. Everytime I hear the commercial for Ricola I think Bricolage. This sounds like Rocky Horror floor show from way back..

  2. Ha! The show was kind of like Prairie Home Companion, but with lots of blood, guts and gore.