Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Rocky Horror Show"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"The Rocky Horror Show"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Foothills Theatre's first show of their 32nd 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 six Phantoms dressed as ushers and during the show they become chorus members in many of the numbers. (You can purchase a props bag to throw toilet paper, confetti etc during the show.) A narrator who reminds you of Alistar Cook, tells you 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 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. He creates a 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 after finding 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, 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 and fabulous high energy show is directed and choreographed by Russell Garrett. He has his multitalented cast interact with the audience and has the audience enjoying every crazy, wacky minute of it. The musical direction by Fred Frabotta and Russell's dances will leave you begging for an encore of "The Time Warp" and you will get your wish with the cast coming out among the cheering crowd who gave these hard working performers a well deserved standing ovation on a superb musical presentation.

Russell blocks and choreographs this show perfectly and he surrounds himself with topnotch people from the performers to scenic designer, Jenna McFarland-Lord whose castle set is magnificent to costume designer, Nicole Watson whose multitude of costumes are colorful to the lighting designer, Jeff Adelberg and sound designer, Nathan Leigh for their wonderful special effects. Leading this 15 member cast is Jon Peterson who is a buff Dr. Frank N'Furter, acts, dance and sings up a storm. He wears a black corset, fishnet stockings and platform shoes throughout the show. Jon is hilarious in this role as the sex-crazed scientist who has sex with Rocky, Brad, Janet and Columbia. His manic song about making Rocky a man in the "Charles Atlas song" is hysterically funny while his "I'm Going Home" is very touching and sentimental. His very handsome and muscular blond creation, Rocky is fantastically portrayed by Dave August who is clad in gold lame hot pants. Not only does this guy look great but he has a fabulous tenor voice which knocks your socks off on his first entrance. Dave's voice soars off the charts in "The Sword of Damocles" as he flexes and struts across the stage but he also proves himself an excellent dancer and actor throughout the performance, too. (Especially while wearing six inch platform shoes.) Mike Kaz and Merrill Peiffer also excel as Riff Raff and Magenta, the demented siblings from outer space. They and Annie Kerins as Columbia do a great job singing, dancing and acting in this far out parts. Loved Annie's tap dance during ""Time Warp".

Nathan Colby and Jackie Comisar 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. Nathan and Jackie sell their songs with their beautiful voices especially "Damn It Janet", a duet, his "Once in Awhile" with the Phantoms dressed in bras and panties and her "Touch-A, Touch-A Touch Me" while she seduces Rocky. Bill Taylor is very funny as the Narrator who snorts coke, does the Time Warp, falls asleep while he tells the story of the proceedings. Playing a dual role in this show is Peter Adams who plays the tattooed Eddie who sings "Hot Patootie" his rock and roll song about loving Columbia as well as Dr. Scott who sings "Eddie's Teddy" and does wheelies in his wheel chair while dressed in fishnet stockings as Nathan, Jackie, Annie and Dave dance in their platform shoes during the Floorshow song. Peter does an excellent job in both roles. A round of applause to the hard working Phantoms who seemed to be onstage almost the whole time. These talented singers and performers are Amanda Ferguson, Shannon Lee Jones, Rebekah Turner, Darius Harper, Andrew Giordano and Andrew McLeavey. So for a trip to the world of laughter, science fiction, horror and fantastic music, be sure to catch "The Rocky Horror Show" in Worcester. Tell them Tony sent you.

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" (28 September - 1 October)
FOOTHILLS THEATRE
100 Front Street, WORCESTER MA
1 (508) 754-4018

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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