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BWW Interviews: Tony Vincent of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW—CONCERT VERSION at Pioneer Theatre Company

As Tony Vincent prepares to step into the heels of Dr. Frank N. Furter in the Pioneer Theatre Company production of the concert version of "The Rocky Horror Show," Broadway World sat down with the actor for a Q&A:

How do you explain the enduring the appeal of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" film, which bombed in theaters when it premiered in 1975?

I can't say it's a great piece of film. It's a daunting thing, I think, to put anything musical into a film component, even in light of "Les Miserables." It looks like a B film. It's inexpensively done. Personally, it takes the piss out of itself. It makes a joke out of itself. But nonetheless, it's fun. It's unconventional. There hasn't been a story like this, told in the same way. The characters have become iconic, left-of-center characters that are exciting.

And what about the midnight screenings that began after the film's initial release?

I don't exactly even know the history of how the midnight screenings happened. One of the daunting things as an actor of putting this show onstage for me is how much is the audience is going to participate. Because once I'm in the zone, I don't want anything to change, to catch me off-guard. It's a good thing that this is a concert staging.

What do you find most appealing about Dr. Frank N. Furter?

I've never done anything like him before, and that's exciting to an actor who wants to be challenged. And that's always exciting for an actor. If we are always playing the same character, we have a tendency to phone it in. I never like that.

What is unique about this character?

I've worn eyeliner for, like, 25-plus years. And fishnets only makes the next step legitimate. There's a larger-than-life charismatic character to this guy. He's going to a be a lot of fun to experiment with.

What was most attractive about taking on the role at Pioneer Theatre Company?

People have asked me if I done the show in the past, and I've just never had the opportunity. It was the right time, the right place. I have a great respect for Karen (Azenberg) as an artistic director. So I have the chance to play a character, or even type of character, I've never played before in a show I've never done before and work with a very talented individual.

What aspect of your career/background has best prepared you for taking on the role?

I come from a rock 'n' roll background. I was a recording artist before I ever did professional theater. Any show that is rooted in rock 'n' roll will always be something that I'm attracted to, whether I like the show or not. The fact that some of these pieces are really aggressive and exciting and pumping - but it's always very rhythm-based, even the more liquid, very beautiful pieces; it still drives - is very attractive to me.

What is your advice to a "Rocky Horror" virgin?

Oh, my gosh. I don't know, because I technically one myself. I've never seen the show in the flesh. I've seen the film, of course. But my recommendation to someone seeing the show for the first time is be prepared to be wowed and question everything you've ever learned before. And then forget it as you leave the theater.

Vincent's Broadway credits include "Rent," "Jesus Christ Superstar" (Judas), and "Green Day's American Idiot" (St. Jimmy). He originated the role of Galileo Figaro in "Queen's We Will Rock You" (London's West End, Las Vegas), and he has fronted the rock band Queen on multiple occasions, including Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee and Party In The Park. Vincent was a finalist on the second season of NBC's "The Voice."

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