Gary’s Garden LIVE: A Very Rotten Christmas Plant-Tacular

David McElweeI’m a fan of the quirky projects Rotting Soil has created Gary’s Garden and the “Regret” music video. So when I got a Facebook invite for Gary’s Garden LIVE: A Very Rotten Christmas Plant-Tacular – a one-night-only holiday event which combined a screening of the original web-series with live performances and audience interaction – I was more than a little bummed I couldn’t fly out there to experience it myself!
Elder Ezekiel (Brennan Murray) dies in the gardner's arms.

Elder Ezekiel (Brennan Murray) dies in the gardner’s arms.

The invite promised The original cast LIVE, SNOW & BLOOD, interactive audience participation and shout-outs (à la Rocky Horror), live musical score of the web-series conduct by composer Nadeem Majdalany, a presentation of the entire web-series as one piece, and  . . . Mormon caroling. Seriously – what an event and it admission didn’t cost a thing!

If you haven’t seen the web-series yet (you should), imagine super campy, tongue-in-cheek, horror-comedy-musical chock-full of irreverent jokes and an outrageous story line. Think Evil Dead, Troll 2Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors.
 “The aim for Gary’s LIVE was to create a experience – something more than a screening but not quite a mounted theatrical production. I wanted to event to feel like it was on the verge of fiasco. There’s something exciting that happens when the audience isn’t sure if that was supposed to happen or not. We accomplished this by transforming our venue (a dive bar; formerly a bear bar) into the set of Gary’s Garden. The performers, some of whom were undercover, were dedicated to their characters from the start. It was really invigorating to let loose with such talented unpredictable performers.”
– Ben Hethcoat (BRADY / Writer & Creator of Gary’s Garden)

To accompany the screening of the web-series, Rotting Soil provided plenty of live performance and interactive elements during the Plant-Tacular. Who could resist a Mormon quartet crooning about cigarettes and porn?! The devilish plant also ridiculed “Rudolph” aka Brady the Mormon by pouring eggnog and cinnamon all over him. (I’m told that’s when the performance pervaded the audience’s sense of smell.) And – because why not really – BRADY and GARY had an epic fight with giant candy canes; it doesn’t get much more Christmas-festive than that, folks.

The plant-faced elf (Brennan Murray) humiliates Rudolph (Ben Hethcoat) by stripping him to a union suit and pouring eggnog all over his Mormon face.

The plant-faced elf (Brennan Murray) humiliates Rudolph (Ben Hethcoat) by stripping him to a union suit and pouring eggnog all over his Mormon face.

Audience members also received a stocking full of goodies to toss at the performers including: a cigarette, broccoli, a candy cane, and LED candle (for the super secret proposal at the end.)

According to Brennan Murray  (EZEKIEL / ZEKE the PLANT):
“The best part about the Plant-Tacular, for me anyway, was our fearlessness to create and entice, maybe even inspire. Live theatre is lost out here in LA, to experience something like this here, as an actor or audience member, is amazing. Zeke, one side of the many sides of the character I play, can get away with anything. The audience is waiting to see just how far the plant will go, they want messy, they want nasty. The plant brings out the evil in all of us, it’s fun to let go of the good for a night and get crazy.”

To end it all, the cast sang “Have Yourself a Rotten Little Christmas” – which Gores Truly’s wishes for you as well. But this time, the ending of Gary’s Garden wasn’t nearly as bleak as the original web-series ending.  Co-Director, Eric Ekman, met Mandy Wilson on the set of Gary’s Garden nearly 3 years ago. Though somewhat unorthodox, this event was the perfect backdrop for a proposal. And t

he Plant-Tacular went off with a hitch!
Stay tuned to Gores Truly in the future for any other up-and-coming independent projects brought to life by the Rotting Soil Collective.

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About Boris

Boris enjoys reading, writing, traveling, performing, roller derby, and costuming in addition to immersing herself in a variety of horrific worlds via literature, art, video games, comics, music, haunted attractions, and cinematic adventures. From zombies to slashers, creature features to B-movies, and psychological thrillers to supernatural stories, Boris is into many different subgenres of horror.