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BWW Previews: Out of the Box Theatre Company's THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at Center Stage Theater

BWW Previews: Out of the Box Theatre Company's THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at Center Stage TheaterHalloween is upon us, and Out of the Box Theatre Company is staging the infamous Rocky Horror Show at Center Stage Theater to celebrate! The Rocky Horror Show opens on Halloween and runs through Saturday, November 4th, giving Santa Barbara a whole week of Timewarping with the ghastly show-ghouls of Frank'n'Furter's castle of salacious pleasures. A high-energy cult-classic, The Rocky Horror Show is a rock-n-roll sci-fi fantasy that runs on a fuel of filth and glamour.

In this B-movie spoof, well behaved squares Brad (Dillon Yuhasz) and Janet (Allison Lewis) get a flat tire in the woods and seek shelter at a nearby castle. They're pulled into a campy bacchanalian romp lead by hyper-sexual mad scientist/comic rapist Frank'n'Furter (Alex Allen) attempting to bring to life his most delicious creation: a hot-body sex slave named Rocky (Mitchell Lam Hau). The other members of Frank'n'Furter's harem include Marisol Miller-Wave as Magenta, Zachary Allen Thompson as Riff Raff, Kelly Sparmann as Columbia, William Schneiderman as Eddie, and Music Director Sio Tepper as the castle's maestro, who keeps the music hopping for Frank'n'Furter's carousing.

BWW Previews: Out of the Box Theatre Company's THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at Center Stage Theater
Alex Allen as Frank'n'Furter

Rocky Horror is fun all year, but Director Samantha Eve planned to produce this show at Halloween for reasons beyond the show's horror-movie theme. "Halloween is a celebration of the weird," she says. "With its origins, and what it's become, people think about it as an opportunity to be weird and celebrate that." The culture of Rocky Horror exemplifies this release of social expectations to fully embrace "the strange." Frank'n'Furter, especially, say Allen, is an unapologetic character: "[He says] "Here I am, take it or leave it," within the first minutes of being on stage. And in [the song] "Don't Dream It, Be It,"--this is someone who's so comfortable with who he is, and who projects a message of being whoever you want to be, no regrets."

Most people's familiarity with Rocky Horror comes from seeing the film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, featuring Tim Curry as Frank'n'Furter. The film is so popular that fans have developed an entire language of participatory callouts that coincide with dialogue and actions on the screen, including prop items that get tossed throughout the audience. Out of the Box will carry on this tradition for their production, and tickets for seats in the first two rows come with a prop bag supplied with everything you'll need to be in on the action, which Eve hopes will be "controlled chaos." "Interaction with the audience is frightening," she says. "You never know what people are going to say or do. A lot of the interaction involves improv, and [the performers] knowing the material well enough to re-route." Then she adds: "Don't throw things at the actors!"

The prop-bag seats give people who want to participate the opportunity to do so, but allows people who want to enjoy the show without being showered in rice to have that option, as well. And, as Miller-Wave points out, "That's the magic of live theater. If there's a night that no ones participates, that's the night that we get to actually do the play that we worked on. And the show stands on its own without all that other stuff."

Are you shivering with antici.....pation?

The Rocky Horror Show
Directed by Samantha Eve
Center Stage Theater
October 31-November 4

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From This Author Maggie Yates