All words: The Theatre Gay
True love is hard to come by, but who says you can’t create it? And they’re dreaming up the perfect man for us right now at Studio Theatre. On Studio’s 2nd Stage , the cult classic “Rocky Horror Show” comes to life in a new glittery-grit interpretation of our favorite leather-clad science fiction double feature. So pull up your fishnets, strap on your leather corset, and prepare to pelvic thrust as we dive deep into Frank N. Furter’s Mansion. Let’s do the time warp, people.
So just a little background on “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The movie came out in 1975, featured a really hot Tim Curry, a super young Susan Sarandon, and a definitively creepy Richard O’Brien, who wrote all the music. This movie basically created the concept of the “Oh god, it’s so bad, it’s good” movie. But this is NOT the movie, as we are reminded at the beginning of “Rocky Horror Show.” We open on a young couple of good kids, Brad (Tim Rogan) and Janet (Jessica Thorne) who get stranded outside of the mansion belonging to the mad transvestite from Transylvania Frank N. Furter (Mitchell Jarvis.)
It turns out Frank is having a party to debut his newest creation: a blonde haired buff bodied perfect male specimen, Rocky (Will Hayes). Although, it becomes quickly clear that Frank’s newest creation isn’t completely on-board with this whole sex slave thing. Add in some wacky servants, an ensemble of Transylvanians, and Sarah Marshall as the Narrator, “Rocky Horror” gave me tingly feelings, and made me want to shout and sing in response. This high-energy rock musical romps and shakes its naughty bits throughout the audience, straight into our hearts, and.. well, elsewhere. Needless to say, these creatures of the night made me feel quite dirty, and I liked it.
“Rocky Horror Show” at the Studio theatre is definitely not your mother’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Directors Keith Alan Baker and Alan Paul update this show to add in more sex, more grit, and more glitter. The perfect example of this is Mitchell Jarvis’s juggernaut performance as Frank N. Furter. From the first moment we see him, he’s casually snorting cocaine, and offering some to Brad and Janet who politely refuse. The part of Frank could easily bring a lesser actor to his knees in defeat, but Jarvis willingly drops to his knees, and brings an excitement that makes you giddy to watch. His energy is catching, and you can see everyone having fun on stage because of him. The supporting cast is also fantastic. Tim Rogan’s bi-curious Brad is fun from his first rejection of Janet’s kisses. And M. Delorenzo’s performance as Columbia is dizzying, intoxicating, and touching. Specifically, in the duet he has with Matthew Myers during “Eddie.” Myers, however, stole the show with his incredibly vocal riffs, and embellishments.
Baker and Paul also do a great job of sending up some homages from the 1975 movie, while still making the jokes their own. The ensemble of Transylvanians were present throughout the show, scattered in the audience, as a reference to the midnight viewings and to encourage audience interaction. The ensemble, however, were pretty underused, and quite often on the periphery of the audience where it was difficult to see. And due to the large size of the ensemble, when they were all on stage it became quickly crowded, and claustrophobic. Despite the size constraints, however, everyone on stage seemed to be having a great time. Sexy fun was had by all!
Rocky Horror Show at Studio’s 2nd Stage is really an amazing feat of physical, sexual, and musical prowess. This is one show you won’t want to miss this summer! So take some time to cool off from the hot summer with some cool leather and fishnets. You definitely won’t regret.