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SAW THE MUSICAL: A Bloody Brilliant Rom-Com Tribute


A poster featuring the words SAW THE MUSICAL
Image courtesy of Creepy Kingdom

By Lauren Cupp


I have come to love a good horror musical, especially movie-to-musical adaptations. I’ve sat through my fair share of splash zones at "Evil Dead" and "Re-Animator the Musical" when they made their screen-to-stage debuts. However, the shockingly hilarious and heartfelt SAW THE MUSICAL, running now in LA, is a brilliant gem that I won't soon forget.


Part of what draws me to the SAW franchise in the first place is the heightened reality of the traps, the villain, the drama, and the spectacle. SAW THE MUSICAL gives me all of that and amps it up to eleven with a tap-dancing Billy puppet, powerful ballads, and perhaps the greatest queer love story of our generation.


The unlikely alliance between Adam and Lawrence especially is raised to an intensely hilarious horny level above and beyond anything I could’ve imagined. Rather than a fight for survival, the romantic twist turns it into a heartbreaking and bittersweet romance that I wasn’t expecting to feel so profoundly when watching it play out. The gruesome movie I loved is transformed into the romcom I never knew I needed in my life, and to do it so effectively through the balance of parody humor and immense love of the film is a testament to the witty book by Zoe Ann Jordan. 


A man reaches out to nothing while screaming
Image courtesy of Creepy Kingdom

At the same time, every joke, innuendo, and punchline is played lovingly; no joke is played at the expense of the source material because the creators know and love the movie as fans first. The songs especially give levity and quirkiness to the show, especially Jigsaw’s repeated melody of “Live the Life You Love” and Amanda’s post-bear trap power anthem.


It is also an incredible feat what this three-person cast manages to do in a two-hour runtime. Adam Parbhoo (fittingly playing Adam Stanheight) and Ray Robinson (playing Lawrence Gordon) have excellent chemistry and know the intricacies of their film counterparts almost too well. Gabrielle Goodman (who plays Amanda AND Jigsaw) is a powerhouse, belting out a girl power ballad one moment and playing a raspy villainous puppet doing a jazz square the next in one quick scene change. The cast as a whole are true talents and help the show invoke the independent spirit of the first film. Heart and passion are shown in every minute of the performance.


I have no doubt the SAW community will love it, as it was heralded by fans and former SAW film crew here in LA. The fact that SAW franchise editor/director Kevin Greutert gives his seal of approval on opening night offers a testament to how poignant, fresh, and exciting this show is for fans. The SAW community is already such a passionate group of people, and this show gives us more reason to come together for a bloody good time!


 The National Tour made its debut in Los Angeles and runs at the Hudson Theatre through April 7th. For tickets and tour information, go to sawthemusical.com.




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