THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Runs at The Roxy Through November 6
t's been 40 years - 40 years! - since THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW hit a London stage and had a 5-year run as a popular musical. Think about that kind of staying power, and you will understand why audiences continue to flock to midnight showings of the 1975 film inspired by the musical. You'll also see why it captures new audiences, as in 2010 when the popular TV show "Glee" used it as the basis for a plot.
The stage still remains the best setting on which to view actors doing the "Time Warp," the most famous song-and-dance routine from Richard O'Brien's glam rock musical. Seen in the flesh, Riff-Raff's a little spookier, Dr. Frank-N-Furter's a little naughtier and - lo and behold - Rocky's a whole lot sexier.
These characters from the transsexual galaxy of Transylvania, along with their earthbound cohorts, will appear at The Roxy Regional Theatre from Oct. 26 to Nov. 6 as the musical enjoys a limited run.
Opening night is at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25. Other show times are at 8 p.m. on Oct. 26, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. There is also a 7 p.m. show on Halloween and a special 11:59 p.m. show on Saturday, Oct. 26. Tickets are $25.
Additionally, there is a dinner-and-show at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, which is a collaboration with Edward's Steakhouse. These tickets are $50.
The plot for this musical, while bizarre and tangled, is simple at its heart: Naïve newlyweds arrive, by accident, at the den of iniquity that is Dr. Frank-N-Furter's castle. No ordinary doctor, Frank-N-Furter is a bisexual transvestite scientist who, in the mold of Dr. Frankenstein, is working on a "creation."
However, Frank-N-Furter's creation is no monster. Instead he's an über confection named Rocky, aptly played by the blond, muscled and gorgeous Mickey Rafalski, who is a dead ringer for a young Brad Pitt.
Given the limits of the Rocky role, Rafalski is not performing pirouettes of angst and drama. The point of his character - clothed in metallic gold cowboy boots and a teeny, weeny bikini - is to inspire lust. That he does exceedingly well. Let's face it: Some of the moves Rafalski makes simply make us feel naughty. Rafalski could win a Tony Award for push-ups alone.
Rafalski is the foil for the oversexed Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Michael Spaziani, who breaks his usual Roxy mold - that of the strong hunk - by prancing around the stage in fishnet hose, stiletto heels and a corset. Spaziani sucks the marrow out of this role, and it is a fun process to watch.
Another Roxy veteran, Ryan Bowie, has played scads of roles over the years. But as Riff-Raff the hunchbacked butler, Bowie amps it up to the stratosphere like never seen before on this stage. His Riff-Raff is less of a creepy butler and more of a high-octane rock star a la Ozzy Osbourne with a dash of Jack White. With his painted-on pants, blond wig and blue fingernail polish, this Riff-Raff could start a band called Riff-Raff and the Daft Rockers. Bring it on.
Then there's the role of narrator, which plays into actor RJ Magee's hands like flaky French pastry. It's not merely the ensemble of silk smoking jacket, pinstripe pants and velvet shoes that make this man. It's the lackadaisical elegance of his delivery, which surely has Oscar Wilde clapping in his grave.
There's a reason THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW never gets old: It's a helluva lot of fun. From the charismatic characters to the kooky costumes, this musical is both frivolous and forceful when populated by actors as topnotch as the Roxy's.
Given the short run, audiences need to see it now, or risk missing getting risqué in a perfectly respectable setting. And who would do that?
Tickets may be purchased ahead of time at the Roxy box office at 100 Franklin Street, which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, or at the door the day of the performance. They may also be ordered online at www.roxyregionaltheatre.org. For more information call (931) 645-7699.