BWW Previews: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW CELEBRATES 16TH YEAR AT Empire Arts Center

BWW Previews: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW CELEBRATES 16TH YEAR AT Empire Arts CenterAfter 15 successful productions, The Red River Valley's #1 Halloween event is back for its 16th year. Nine and Numb Entertainment of Tampa, FL is proud to the announce the return of The Rocky Horror Picture Show Live at midnight at Empire Arts Center, 415 DeMers Avenue, Grand Forks.

Produced and directed by Kelly Clow, Nine and Numb Entertainment, this must-see event for fans each Halloween season stars Anthony Robert Paradis as Brad Majors, Brenna Skallet as Janet Weiss, Zachery Hilliard as Riff Raff, Justine Helgren as Magenta/Trixie, Brooke Pesch as Columbia, Patrick Pearson as Dr. Frank N Furter, Justin Dela Cruz as Rocky, Benny Irvine as Eddie, Scott Correll as Dr. Scott, and Lucas Rieder, Kylie McGuire, Bethany Newquist, Alison Horton as the assorted Transylvanians.

If you haven't experienced The Rocky Horror Picture Show complemented by a live shadow cast, patrons are in for a treat. The actors dress up like the film characters and act out the film as it is playing behind them. Nine and Numb Entertainment's talented shadow cast adds a fun, immersive element the movie screening, allowing the audience to yell back at the characters and use venue-permitted props.

Kelly credits an ornery fire marshall for being at the inception of the shadow cast show. Initially the event was supposed to be a haunted house, but a fire marshall shut down the debut concept and Kelly was left with an empty space to fill. The venue suggested using the space to show a Halloween-themed movie and Kelly remembered how fun shadow casting The Rocky Horror Picture Show had been with his Nine and Numb improv comedy troupe.

Word of mouth about a Rocky Horror shadow cast at Empire Arts Center in Grand Forks spread like wildfire and the happy accident turned into an annual sweltering-heat-to-frigid-cold-pilgrimage for Kelly from Tampa to Grand Forks. The rest, as they say, is history.

BWW Previews: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW CELEBRATES 16TH YEAR AT Empire Arts Center"It's the biggest Halloween party in the Red River Valley. I get people who come down from Alberta. The line goes around the block and around the back of the building," said Kelly. "Rocky Horror has a built-in audience and they come in droves. Every year, it gets bigger and better."

Kelly and the cast think the success of the show is the audience interaction.

The assistant director and Columbia in the show, Brook Pesch said, "This show has always been so fun to be a part of. You are allowed to 'break the rules.' Unlike your standard theater production, it requires a lot of audience participation. We encourage the audience to yell, use props and, basically, be as obnoxious as they can in a safe space."

This Richard O'Brien's campy rock musical has stood the test of time to become a cult favorite. An outlandish homage to classic sci-fi and horror films, the film debuted in 1975 and, due to the addition of a live shadow cast, it is one of the longest-running movie musicals in film history.

"I have been with the show since we began doing it and I tell you it is a different audience every year. But every year we give the audience an outlet to be whoever they wanna be and go wild! It's a special thing last year and this year that I play opposite my love (Dr. Scott). For the audience that attends, just remember: DON'T DREAM IT...BE IT!" said Patrick Pearson (Dr. Frank N Furter).

BWW Previews: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW CELEBRATES 16TH YEAR AT Empire Arts CenterAudience members are highly encouraged to dress as their favorite character and Virgins - those new to The Rocky Horror experience- should prepare themselves for special attention from the shadow cast.

"This cult classic has it all--sex, horror, drama, humor, and gold Speedos! Not only do you get a chance to participate, we put you in the driver's seat," said Brenna Skallet (Janet Weiss). "We encourage attendees to come exactly as you are, no holds barred. Whether you're a virgin, a seasoned veteran, or somewhere in between, this show is guaranteed to knock your corset off. Be prepared to party and please--wear your nice undies. Let's do the time warp again!!"

The venue does not allow toast, rice, hot dogs, open flame lighters, laser pointers or weapons of any kind, but prop bags with approved items will be available for purchase in the lobby prior to the performance.

"If you want to see the wildest performance on stage while enjoying the cult classic movie in the background while yelling at everyone and using what's in the goodie bags, this is the place to be," said Anthony Robert Pardis (Brad Majors). "There's no better way to have fun and escape the impending snow storms that are bound to destroy us, than to come into the Empire Theater dressed half naked and ready to have fun!"

Performances will be October 26, 27 and, of course, Halloween night, October 31, with festivities running until approximately 2AM.

It is a night that audience members will not soon forget.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Live is at Empire Arts Center, 415 DeMers Avenue, Grand Forks, midnight on October 26, 27, and 31. Tickets are $15 through ticketmaster.com, the Chester Fritz Auditorium Box Office and at the venue door on show nights. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is rated R and is for 18 and up.

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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley

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