BWW Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at Kata Klysmic Productions: Doing the 'Time Warp' Again!
It's that time of year when everyone starts doing the "Time Warp" again. For most people, their introduction to the "Rocky Horror Show" is the cult classic 1975 movie. For the 4th year, Kata Klysmic Productions is doing a new production of "The Rocky Horror Show." The audience in attendance were all having a great time not just seeing the show, but doing the typical audience participation that comes with it. What makes this production of Rocky Horror back for its fourth production with Kata Klysmic?
Let's start by looking at what the show is about. We start the show by meeting Brad and Janet. Two lovebirds who after attending a friend's wedding, decide to get married. They decide the first person they want to tell about their engagement is the teacher whose class they met in. As they are driving to tell him, they get a flat tire. To make things worse, it is raining outside. So they seek shelter at a nearby castle where they can use the phone to call for assistance. What happens the rest of the night is something they will never forget.
With a small performance space, one of the difficulties the show could have had was bringing this larger than life show to the stage. What I appreciated about director Nicholas Amundson's staging was how separated what was inside the main room in the castle and what was outside or in a different room. The main way they did this was separating with a curtain and bringing out a few small pieces to tell the story. From the bench used for the car, to the door to the castle, to the sheet that represents the beds in each room, each piece worked brilliantly in telling this story.
Narrowing down my favorite performances of the night was difficult. With the larger than life characters in the show, "Rocky Horror" has the kind of roles that actors can make a memorable stamp with. One of those actors is Mitchell Nieland as "Rocky." This is his best role to date. His song "The Sword of Damocles" was a perfect fit for his voice. He also had great stamina that stayed through the show as he ran through the audience, was doing pushups, and getting pulled around the stage.
Another performance that stood out to me was Ashley Rogers performance as Janet Weiss. While many people would play Janet with a light singing voice, Ashley embraces her strong classic singing voice and brings it to the character. I found it to be a great fit for the character and made for a fun "Toucha, Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me." Part of the fun of "Rocky Horror" is the cheesy choreography that pops up through the show. The energy and smile Ashley brought to each song made it fun to watch.
If you have seen "Rocky Horror" before, then there is probably one character who or breaks the show, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played in this production by Gaius Terran. His strong singing voice was a perfect fit for the role and commanded your attention each time he sang. But what impressed me most is that he brought a vulnerability to the role, which let us see a delicate and fragile side of the character. This vulnerability was a great fit for his final number "I'm Going Home," which got some of the biggest applause and screams of the night.
Whether this is your first time seeing "Rocky Horror" or not, this production will have you on your feet at the end of the show. The work the actors, directing team, and crew put into this show has played off. Especially when I heard a few audience members both during and after the show talking about how this production was the best they had seen the group do. So hurry and get your tickets while they are still available. "The Rocky Horror Show" runs through November 1. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.midwestix.com/calendar?q=rocky&fbclid=IwAR1-8-qYHIf-bqmx6h-v96fvSJpUeYoRazzPeCYcbgo0TcuATNvtXp9b9OE