Theatre Mirror Reviews-"The Rocky Horror Show"

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entire contents copyright 2012 by Tony Annicone

"The Rocky Horror Show"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Emerson Umbrella's fall show is "The Rocky Horror Show" which opened in London on June 16,1973 and on Broadway on March 10, 1975 but only ran for 45 performances. The well known movie version, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" also made in 1975 later found audiences at late night movie runs becoming a cult classic. The stage show is a science fiction-comedy-horror-musical and it begins with an usherette singing "Science Fiction" with Phantoms swirling about the stage and during the show become chorus members in many of the numbers. You can purchase a props bag to throw things during the show. A narrator tells the audience the story of straight laced couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss who recently became engaged, find themselves stuck on an eerie highway with a flat tire. They walk back to a remote castle in the woods hoping to find a telephone and are greeted by weird servants. The castle is owned by their master Dr. Frank N'Furter, a gender bending scientist from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. Frank creates blond muscleman, Rocky to be his playmate and kills Eddie, a motorcycle hoodlum rocker while eventually making love to both Brad and Janet. Frank flies into a rage when wheel-chair bound, Dr. Scott, Eddie's uncle shows up and also finds Rocky and Janet in a tryst, freezes them, dresses them in lingerie and forces them to dance for him. After their performance, Riff Raff and Magenta arrive and announce they will be returning to their planet without Frank and Rocky. Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott are released from the castle. This fun and high energy show is directed by Brian Boruta. He has his talented cast interact with the audience and they enjoy every minute of it. The musical direction by Tom Cox and choreography by Brian will have you begging for an encore of "The Time Warp". The cheering crowd gives these terrific performers a very well deserved ovation at their stunning and marvelous performances.

Brian blocks the show wonderfully. He has his cast use every part of the two story set and theatre. He surrounds himself with topnotch people from the performers to costumes, lighting and sound. Tom plays keyboard, taught all the rock and roll songs to the cast and leads a marvelous six piece rock band. Brian's dances include a Charleston, kick line, Fossesque moves, jazz and modern. Leading this cast is Jim Fitzpatrick as Dr. Frank N'Furter. He dances, acts and sings up a storm in this role. Jim wears many outrageous outfits as Frank, gives a dynamite performance and displays his powerhouse voice in this role. He wears a skimpy body suit with a bustiere, platform heels and fishnet stockings. Jim is hilarious as this sex crazed scientist who has sex with Rocky, Brad, Janet and Columbia. The scene with Frank making love to Janet and Brad is his funniest scene in the show. Jim's songs include "Sweet Transvestite" which stops the show with his fabulous rendition, "I Can Make You a Man", a manic song about making Rocky a man like Charles Atlas which is hysterical, "Planet Shmanet Janet" where he mocks Janet, Brad, Dr. Scott and Columbia. His final song "I'm Going Home" is very poignant and sentimental. Adam Arsenault is Rocky, Frank's muscleman creation and is marvelous as this naive creature. Adam's brown hair is bleached blond and is clad in gold lame hot pants. Not only has Adam worked out for this role physically but also displays his baritone voice in "The Sword of Damacles" as he struts around and flexes his muscles, while running around the stage and through the audience trying to escape from Frank's clutches. He does a wonderful job especially when he grabs Jackie's boobs and when he wears fishnets, high heels and a bustiere in the second act dancing up a storm in them. Adam has acted on the "silver screen'' and is also a model at Dynasty Modeling Agency in Boston. 

Two other scene stealers are Brian Boruta and Morgan LaMontagne as Riff Raff and Magenta. Brian does double duty in the show as director and playing this role. He and Morgan stop the show with their "Time Warp" number. They excel as these demented siblings from outer space with their comic expertise. Brian has a topnotch tenor voice and Morgan has a terrific belting voice. They both excel in these roles. Julia Deegler plays Magenta the last three performances. Pretty blonde Megan Bergeron welcomes the audience to the show as The Usherette while belting out "Science Fiction''. Jill Braverman also shines as Columbia, the groupie with her singing, dancing and acting. Jill is hilarious when she claims to be in love with Frank. She is a very talented gal and does a tap dance to the "Time Warp". I last reviewed Jill at Theatre by the Sea in 2001. 

Matthew Sherman as Brad and Jackie Theoharris as Janet do a wonderful job in their roles. They go from nice and normal to sex crazed people due to the influence of Frank. Matthew and Jackie sell their songs with their beautiful voices. Their duet, "Damn It Janet", his "Once in Awhile" which is a terrific ballad and her "Touch A Touch A Touch Me" which shows off her soprano voice while she seduces Rocky. Rachel Bruce plays Janet the last three performances. Ashley Parker as Narrator, tells the details of the show with a twinkling eye and does the Time Warp. She interacts in several of the numbers. Harry Rothman is the narrator for the last three shows. Playing the hapless tattooed Eddie is Allen Yannone. As Eddie, Allen sings a rock and roll song called ''Hot Patootie". Eddie sings about his love for Columbia. Dave Leigh as Dr. Scott sings "Eddie's Teddy" while sitting in a wheel chair. He does a terrific scat style to this song while wearing fishnet stockings. Matthew, Jackie, Jill and Adam dance in their platform shoes during the Floorshow song. Bravo to the hard working Phantoms seem to be onstage almost the whole time. These talented singers and dancers are Kim Misci, Naomi Edelman, Bri Ryder, Jess Couture, Lauren McShane, Kadie Greenfield, Robert Orzalli and Jake O'Hara. So for a breathtaking rendition of "The Rocky Horror Show", be sure to catch it in Concord before the space ship blasts off.

"The Rocky Horror Show" (26 October - 3 November)
@ 40 Stow Street, CONCORD MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide