Hinsdale native among thirsty undead
Anne Murphy wears her zombie makeup proudly.
Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl
2-9 pm. Saturday, April 28
Register starting at 1:30 p.m. at the pH Comedy Theater, 1515 W. Berwyn, Chicago
$25 donation includes an event cup, official Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl T-shirt and discounts at selected pubs
Updated: April 25, 2012 4:01PM
The streets of Andersonville will be filled with dead ringers for the fifth annual Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl on Saturday. One of the most enthusiastic zombies will be Hinsdale native Anne Murphy, a company member of pH Productions, which runs the event.
“I love playing with makeup,” Murphy said. Each year, she creates a different character for herself. One year, she went as a Subway worker. Instead of “Eat Fresh,” her slogan was “Eat Flesh.”
This year, Murphy will be one of the Rockford Peaches baseball players from “A League of Their Own.” “Everyone adds their own little flair to it, on top of being bloody and gross,” she said.
That bloody and gross part led to a funny experience for Murphy as she headed to her first Zombie Crawl. “I had done my makeup at home and then I realized I was pretty far from Andersonville,” she related. “I had to hail a cab. My cab driver freaked out because he thought I was injured and bleeding.”
Would-be zombies start the crawl by registering at the pH Productions Theater. “You get a T-shirt that was designed by one of our artistic directors who’s a graphic designer in his day job,” Murphy reported. “You get your cup that you go from bar to bar with to get your discount drinks.”
The theater company will also apply zombie makeup onsite for anyone who does not know how to do it or who doesn’t want to spend money for the makeup. “This year we have professional artists coming in,” Murphy said.
One of Murphy’s favorite Pub Crawl memories was when a couple celebrating their son’s 21st birthday with him happened on the event. “The son convinced his family to go on the Zombie Pub Crawl. I put makeup on this totally conservative, ‘Leave it to Beaver’ family,” she laughingly recalled, adding, “They had a blast. I saw them later on down the line and they were dancing and having a great time.”
You might think that the average person having an evening out might be more than a little disturbed by the sight of hundreds of pale-faced, blood-covered creatures parading past the restaurants and coffeehouses along Clark Street. Turns out, people tend to take the undead invasion with good humor.
All in fun
“What I love about Andersonville is it’s such a warm neighborhood that people are laughing with you, rather than at you,” Murphy said. “Some people are confused, some people want to get involved.”
The first Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl attracted 500 participants; last year the number climbed to 800. “We’re trying to hit 1,000,” Murphy said of this year’s goal.
Murphy, whose family moved to Burr Ridge around the time she started college, was involved in theater at Hinsdale Central High School. She majored in communications at Loyola University, with a minor in theater.
Murphy joined pH Productions seven years ago. “The shows are really unique and play to the fast improv,” she said. “I was involved in improv in high school. In college I missed it.”
Daytimes, Murphy works as a project manager for a research firm. “My social life is doing the improv,” she said.
And, once a year, becoming a zombie. “I love everyone’s creativity,” the Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl regular declared. “It’s like Halloween on steroids.”