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BWW Album Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SKIVVIES SHOW: THE ALBUM is Wildly Fun Entertainment

Let this sensuous stocking stuffer stay for the night, or maybe a bite, as it is likely to become your favorite obsession.

BWW Album Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SKIVVIES SHOW: THE ALBUM is Wildly Fun Entertainment

Just in time for Halloween 2020, Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina independently released THE ROCKY HORROR SKIVVIES SHOW: THE ALBUM. The record came about because the 2020 pandemic cancelled The Skivvies roster of live shows, giving them time to do something they had never done before: record an album! Following their highly successful "Undiegogo" campaign, the duo, following COVID safety protocols, gathered their friends and colleagues together to produce one of the most entertaining cast albums ever recorded.

I'm a long time fan of The Skivvies. Toy instruments, clever mash-ups, and celebrated theater talents that have tread the boards of Broadway, the West End, Off-Broadway, and more gleefully singing while doing burlesque-like routines that involve disrobing to their undergarments is the joyfully body positive escapism that the world truly needs. Sadly, I missed the live performances of Cearley's and Molina's concert version of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW with their Skivvies twist. Yet, thanks to this cast recording, the world can experience everything but the visuals that their fun brand has to offer.

BWW Album Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SKIVVIES SHOW: THE ALBUM is Wildly Fun Entertainment
Will Swenson performs in THE ROCKY HORROR
SKIVVIES SHOW at Joe's Pub.
Photo by Allison Stock.

The music on the album is presented in the same order as the source material, meaning it opens with Cearley and Molina performing an ebullient rendition of "Science Fiction Double Feature." This track, even with the whimsical use of ukulele, is surprisingly "by the books" and lacks typical Skivvies flourishes. The number is charming and draws fans of the original material in, letting them get comfortable in a Skivvies world that features more robust instrumentation than long time fans of The Skivvies may be used to. "Dammit Janet" follows suit, with just a wee bit of "Ooh Boy" thrown in for good measure. Then, "Over at the Frankenstein Place" is when the album truly comes to full Skivvies life, folding in a quintet of mash-up references that elicit smiles and giggles.

The entire album is performed with glee, and is something that fans of any form of ROCKY HORROR can lose themselves in. Stand out moments on the album include Will Swenson's suave "Sweet Transvestite," Nick Adams joyfully incorporating "Born This Way" into "Sword of Damocles," Molina's vacillation between lusty heaviness and squeaky character inspired nasality on "Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me," and Cearley's wonderfully plaintive and heartfelt rendition of "Once in a While."

Beyond these highlights, there is a quartet of tracks that make the album a must-own! Taking on the song made infamous by Meatloaf, Marissa Rosen's rendition of "Hot Patootie" is nothing short of amazing. Rosen's perfectly timed uses of honeyed vocals and vibrant skrelts makes this track, blended with "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "Saturday In the Park," and "Saturday's Alright for Fighting," completely unforgettable. With an expertly concocted blend of humor and foreboding madness, Nathan Lee Graham's version of "Planet Schmanet," featuring elements of "Interplanet Janet," is as hilarious as it is sinister. Using a trick that never fails to delight, Christina Bianco performs "Floor Show/Rose Tint My World" in the style of many famous pop stars and Broadway personalities. Her ability to impersonate practically everyone ensures that the track is wildly fun and draws out peels of laughter from listeners. Then, as the album begins to wind down, Michael Ceveris delivers an absolutely stirring and emotionally evocative performance of "I'm Going Home" that blends in "Midnight Radio."

Not a single track on THE ROCKY HORROR SKIVVIES SHOW: THE ALBUM disappoints. Whether utilizing mad-cap hilarity, tugging on heartstrings with tenderly sung ballads, or showcasing fantastic vocal talent, this record is a perfect marriage of The Skivvies appealingly unconventional approach to music and the zany world of Richard O'Brien. If you haven't purchased this album yet for yourself or your favorite musical theater fan, stop by The Skivvies Bandcamp page and let this sensuous stocking stuffer stay for the night, or maybe a bite, as it is likely to become your favorite obsession.



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From This Author David Clarke