Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Rocky Horror Show"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"The Rocky HORROR Show"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The second show of URI Theatre's season 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. The stage show is a science fiction-comedy-horror-musical and it begins with two ushers singing "Science Fiction" while an old RKO black and white movie clips play in the background. There are eight Phantoms who become chorus members in many of the numbers. A narrator who reminds you of Alistair Cook, tells you the story of the 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 a blond muscleman, Rocky to be his playmate and kills Eddie, a motorcycle hoodlum rocker who was his former beau. Frank eventually makes love to both Brad and Janet. He flies into a rage when wheel-chair bound, Dr. Scott, Eddie's uncle shows up. After finding Rocky and Janet in a tryst, Frank freezes Columbia, Rocky, Brad and Janet, dresses them in lingerie and forces them to dance for him. After their performance, Riff Raff and Magenta, his servants, 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 filled fabulous high energy show is directed by Paula McGlasson. She has her multitalented cast interact with the audience and the audience enjoys every crazy, wacky minute of it. The musical direction by Lila Kane and choreography by Dante Sciarra will leave you begging for an encore of "The Time Warp" and you will get your wish with this cast coming out among the cheering crowd who gave these hard working performers a well deserved standing ovation on a superb musical presentation.

Paula blocks the show wonderfully, using every bit of the theatre for entrances and exits while Lila taught them the different rock and roll songs. She plays the piano and conducts a five piece orchestra. Dante's choreography includes a Charleston, kick line, tap dance, jazz and modern. The set is by Patrick Lynch with black bleachers as the main set with set pieces easily moved on and off stage. Colorful costumes are by Marilyn Salvatore. Leading this cast is Andrew Burnap as Dr. Frank N' Furter, who acts, dances and sings up a storm in this show. He dyed his blond hair black and wears many outrageous outfits. Andrew gives a dynamite performance and is marvelous in this role and wears a black corset, fishnet stockings and platform shoes throughout the show. Andrew is hilarious in this role as this sex-crazed scientist who has sex with Rocky, Brad, Janet and Columbia. His songs include "Sweet Transvestite" which stops the show with his awesome rendition as he enters the scene descending down on a chandelier, "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 and "I'm Going Home" which is very touching and sentimental. His muscleman creation, Rocky is played by Cory Crew. He bleached his hair platinum blond for this role and is topnotch as this naive man while clad in a large diaper, then gold hot pants. Not only has Cory worked out physically for this role but he also has a terrific baritone voice which knocks your socks off on his first entrance. Cory's voice soars off the charts in "The Sword of Damocles" as he flexes and struts across the stage. He proves himself as an excellent dancer and actor during the performance especially while wearing a corset, fishnets and dance shoes. Two other big scene stealers in this show are Johnny Sederquist as Riff Raff and Shannon Hartman as Magenta. They stop the show with their "Time Warp" number. They excel as these two demented siblings from outer space with their comic performances and great voices. Betsy Rinaldi also shines as Columbia, the groupie with her singing, dancing and acting and does a dynamite tap dance in "Time Warp". She is hilarious when she claims to be in love with Frank.

Jesse Dufault and Stephanie Morgan as Brad and Janet do a wonderful job in their roles. They go from nice and normal to sex crazed people due to the influence of Frank. Jesse and Stephanie sell their songs with their beautiful voices especially "Damn It Janet", a duet, his beautiful earnest ballad "Once in Awhile" while a plays the guitar and her "Touch-A, Touch-A Touch Me" while she seduces Rocky. Alan Hawkridge is the Narrator who tells the details of the show with a twinkling eye and does the Time Warp. He is marvelous while he tells the story of the proceedings.(Dante and Myke Wilkinson play the Narrator at alternate performances) Playing the hapless tattooed Eddie is Erick Betancourt. He has a rock and roll song about loving Columbia called "Hot Patootie". Vince Petronio plays Dr. Scott who sings "Eddie's Teddy'' and does wheelies in his wheel chair while dressed in fishnet stockings as Jessie, Stephanie, Betsy and Cory dance in their platform shows during the Floorshow song. The hard working Phantoms seemed to be onstage almost the whole time. These talented singers and dancers are Travis Greene, Chelsea Cook, Mia Rocchio, Birk Wozniak,Josh Christensen, Julia Bailey, Julia Bartoletti and Aaron Weininger. So for a trip to the world of laughter, science fiction, horror and fantastic music, be sure to catch "The Rocky Horror Show" at URI. Tell them Tony sent you.

"The Rocky Horror Show" (2 - 12 December)
URI THEATRE
Studio J, Uppper College Road, KINGSTON RI
1 (401)874-5843

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