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The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra will provide eclectic music and bizarre short films for “Zombie Prom” Thursday at the Sheldon.

Zombies will haunt Sheldon Halloween

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By Ruth Nerhaugen

Contributor

Sheldon Theatre tradition will be decimated this Thursday when the historic playhouse opens its doors to a new Halloween crowd: the walking dead.

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A zombie apocalypse is looming, spokesmen said.

“There’s no stopping the walking dead from entering the 1904 theater and stumbling through the jewel box walls,” warned Elisa Wright of the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, which is booked to provide music for the 7 p.m. event.

“Instead of living in utter fear and trepidation” over the zombie invasion, Wright said, “the Sheldon has decided to make lemonade and open up the invasion to the public: It’s Zombie Prom 2013.”

It replaces the annual film screening of “Phantom of the Opera” for this year.

“Zombie Prom” started out as an off-Broadway musical and a short film, but has evolved into an eclectic event that seems ready-made for Halloween.

Galactic Cowboy Orchestra musicians have been traveling the East Coast performing their unique music — “original and traditional bluegrass-edged tunes with jazz and world/fusion elements,” Sheldon spokesmen said.

“(They) will return home in time to divert the zombies’ insatiable lust for the living with their crazy art-rock music and bizarre short films,” Wright said.

A Zombie Prom combines both elements. People are encouraged to come in Halloween costumes, zombie garb or prom wear.

“If you forget to come in costume, fear not,” Wright said. “Scandinavian zombies are very reserved so you can take your chances and come dressed as a human.”

The band will be performing on stage, but the orchestra pit will be open for dancing, and people also will be encouraged to dance in the aisles.

Enhancing the music will be short films that also suit the theme.

The band will mix its original “out-there” compositions with macabre covers such as the Eagles’ “Witchy Woman,” Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.”

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra is a four-piece group, organized in 2008 by bassist John Wright (of Lehto & Wright), headquartered in the Twin Cities.

“He wanted to create technically challenging, improvisation-based music, and started jamming with guitarist Dan Neale and percussionist Mark O’Day.” Fiddler Lisi Wright joined in after hearing the rehearsal tapes her husband brought home.

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra travels widely, performing in rock clubs, folk clubs, theaters and at festivals. The members also do arts education residencies. More about the band, its schedule and its recordings can be found on the Website www.galacticcowboyorchestra.com.

The band’s current Arts Tour Minnesota, including the Sheldon appearance, was made possible in part by a Legacy grant.

Tickets to “Zombie Prom” are $15. The supervised event is for older teens and adults. There will be a cash bar; identification will be required. For more information, call 651-388-8700 or go online to www.sheldontheatre.org.

If you go...

What: Zombie Prom

Who: Galactic Cowboy Orchestra

When: 7-9 p.m. Thursday

Where: Sheldon Theatre

Cost: $15

More info: 651-388-8700 or www.sheldontheatre.org

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