BWW Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre
Just in time for Halloween, the North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre brings the creepy, sexy, cult classic - THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW - to life.
For fans of the film, don't confuse this with The Rocky Horror Picture Show - the movie version of the story which is often shadowcast, with actors performing the roles while the movie plays behind them. The audience norms for this live musical are a bit different than the those for the shadowcast picture shows. While dressing up for this performance is fun - it is not necessary. And you can leave the water guns and confetti at home! Callbacks to the actors, however, are welcome (and are often the most enjoyable part of the performance)!
Opening night of this show got off to a "rocky" start with a dead microphone, which caused Samantha Snow (Magenta) to perform a low-volume version of Science Fiction Double Feature. While Snow appeared mostly unphased by the glitch and gave an enthusiastic and professional performance of the song, the audience was left feeling a bit uncertain about the fate of the show. And, while several other sound issues plagued this performance (including off-beat special effects sounds and more dead mics), the crowd was ultimately able to relax as the show settled in to the first act.
While Allison Good (Janet Weiss) and Joshua Sherman (Brad Majors) were appropriately annoying and cheerful as a newly engaged young couple headed out for fun evening, much of the redemption of the first scenes can be attributed to Jared Culpepper, who gave an energetic performance as Riff Raff. He was an immediate audience favorite as Frank-N-Furter's creepy, lurking minion. Culpeper's popularity was matched only much later in the show, by Rocky Horror himself (Rodney M. Morris), whose skilled execution of tricky choreography was fantastic and memorable. And while Brandon A. Bailey initially had the adoration of the crowd for his sassy and sexy characterization of Frank-N-Furter, some very challenging vocal solos rang a bit flat and left the audience feeling unfulfilled.
The costumes in this show fit the bill perfectly - fun, loud, and sexy. The set was creative and allowed for cool executions of several effects in the over-the-top plot. The fantastic use of space and the choreography in this show are certainly highlights (don't miss Brad and Janet's "car"). The show's live band was placed in the center of the stage, and while they were present throughout the musical, they were often rendered invisible by the sheer number of shenanigans taking place around them.
Although this performance experienced a few flat tires, open-minded audiences are in for a fun evening and will almost certainly leave the theatre smiling. After all, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW is really what you make of it! So whether you're a regular patron or a virgin, come prepared to shout loudly, clap your hands, and laugh along with this cult classic.
Catch the show at the North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre in Plano through Saturday, October 27th! This performance is recommended for mature audiences 16 years of age and older. Visit https://northtexasperformingarts.org/event/2018-rep-rocky-tickets/ for tickets to Friday or Saturday's shows - starting at $18.