Threat of zombies forces theater to cancel show

Imagine you’re at the theater enjoying a civilized evening of culture, featuring a classic play by Tennessee Williams.

Suddenly you hear pounding and screaming in the distance. Murmurs turn to disturbed whispers in the audience as even the actors are distracted by the growing noise.

Suddenly the lobby doors break open and you are confronted by a horde of zombies, dripping blood and crying out for fresh brains!

This, my friend, is all too real a concern for Theatre in the Round director Steven Antenucci.

“The last time it happened during a performance was in 2006 when we were performing, fittingly, A Plague of Angels – about Typhoid Mary. We had to lock the doors because zombies were trying to come into the lobby, ” remembers Antenucci.

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A participant from a past edition of Minneapolis’ annual Zombie Pub Crawl

Image courtesy Zombie Pub Crawl

Since then, the Zombie Pub Crawl has always occurred on the first weekend in October, happily when TRP was in between shows. Still the theater, located at Seven Corners, suffers damage each year: smears of fake blood on the billboards, on the building, and the overwhelming smell of urine in the alley behind the theater.

“We have to hose down everything,” says Antenucci.

This year the Zombie Pub Crawl moved to the second weekend in October, right on opening weekend of TRP’s production of Summer and Smoke.

Meanwhile, the crawl has grown from 150 zombies in 2005 to what some claim was 15,000 flesh eaters in 2011.

That’s simply too many for Antenucci.

“If we were doing a big loud musical, that might be one thing,” chuckled Antenucci. “But screams for brains and pounding on car hoods doesn’t quite go with Tennessee Williams.”

Summer and Smoke opens Friday, will go dark Saturday for the Zombie Pub Crawl, and will resume on Sunday.