What is with the current fascination with zombies? From the record-smashing popularity of AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” to the Sprint commercial offering “unlimited talk, text and data, perfect for the living (or undead)”, zombies have infiltrated pop culture. Even the government has jumped on the bandwagon. In 2011, the CDC published “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic”, a comic book which refers readers to their emergency website and ends with a statement about being prepared and a checklist for an “All-Hazards Emergency Kit”. The Department of Homeland Security urged citizens to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Their theory: if you’re prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.So why the trend? Perhaps a happy ending (although not all zombie stories end favorably) restores a peace of mind and optimism from fear of outbreaks and disasters. Perhaps not. But the fact remains that the public adores zombies and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
So, as always, the art community imitates life (or the undead), revealing zombies in books, commercials, film and stage. The original zombie movie, “Night of the Living Dead”, was performed in a live stage version at Ohlook Performing Arts Center in Fall of 2011 and Ohlook often produces and entertains sold-out crowds with the zombie cult classic “Evil Dead”.This month, Ohlook is bringing the lighter side of zombies to north Tarrant County with the Off-Broadway musical “Zombie Prom”. A “Grease”-gone-nuclear musical, “Zombie Prom” is set in the 1950s and filled with upbeat 50’s style rock-and-roll songs and a happy ending. It is silly zombie fun for the entire family. Over a dozen Southlake teens are performing in the show, which will run December 6-15, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. in Ohlook’s Black Box Theater (1631 W. Northwest Highway in Grapevine). Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased online at:ohLookperform.com.