by Sarah Deshaies
I am so over zombies.
And so is one of the characters in Zombie Apocalypse: A Love Song, who laments: “They’re so passé.” Perhaps this, and the fact that there are a gazillion zombie plays at this Fringe, is an indication that this genre may have run its course. Either way, the slovenly undead are here, and you can’t do anything but let them eat your brain in a darkened room.Sometimes I felt this was happening to me at Zombie Apocalypse, a musical take on four friends watching the zombie end-of-time unfold around them from a rooftop. Dane Stewart and Holly Brace-Lavoie are dating, and Matt Lacas and Shannon McNally are unrequited lovers, surrounded by a cast of enthusiastic zombie extras who serve as a nice footnote. Our four ill-fated lovers attempt to resolve their issues as the world goes to pieces. The tunes are sweet little numbers with lines like, “You’re walking slowly, but your heart is still beating.” (As I can recall it.) But the combination of rock songs on one side of the stage and tired banter on the other is jarring; sometimes, you can barely hear the actors over the Brainiacs, the zombie house band. Lacas, McNally and Stewart performed in another musical piece at an off venue last year, EDGES: A Song Cycle. This time, like last, the show comes across as amateurish. But this is what the Fringe is for: young artists, onstage and off, cutting their teeth and finding out what works. Hopefully, next year, they’ll be back with something more polished.