|Mandalee Flannery and Nathan Patton in "The Rocky: Horror Show" |
By Cheryl Thornburg
There’s nothing quite like the bizarre
rock musical “The Rocky Horror Show” to get the blood pumping and the audience
jumping to the “Time Warp” and Alpha/Omega Players’ current production
The show, which must have been shocking
and controversial when it opened in the early ’70s, got off to a “rocky” start
– its U.S. debut in L.A. lasted only three previews and 45 shows. Since then, the musical and the subsequent movie
have developed a passionate and loyal fan base that not only come to see the
show, but participate in it. Be prepared to be sitting next to someone in a
skimpy Burlesque costume or some bizarre regalia.
The show, with its sexual content and
strong language, is definitely not for children, but for adults who enjoy racy
and raucous humor, this show fills the bill. One of the song titles says it all.
“Sweet Transvestite” delivered with camp and style by Jacob Cowan as Frank
”N” Furter, is one of the highlights of the show.
The character is at the heart of this
zany production as the mad scientist who is
surrounded by some sexy and uninhibited followers.
Stumbling into this unusual household
is a young, newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, whose car has broken down on
a dark and stormy night.
Nathan Patton and Mandalee Flannery
play the couple with a sweet sincerity and even sweeter voices as they are
drawn into the dark goings-on in the Frankenstein-like setting. Their duet, “Damn It, Janet,” showcases the purity of their
voices. Later on, Flannery gets to rock
it out in “Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me” and she does so with equal skill.
There are many standout roles and
numbers in this show, giving each performer a turn in the spotlight.
Sharon Ruegsegger, James Barksdale and
Kirsten Heim get the joint jumping with “Time Warp” as Magenta, Riff Raff and
Columbia. Their powerful voices and stage presence bring these memorable
characters to life.
Speaking of bringing to life, there’s
Frank ”N” Furter’s creation, Rocky,
played with enthusiasm by Morgan Eppenstein.
Tyler Reppert plays both Eddie and Dr.
Scott and delivers arguably one of the most fun performances of the night as
Eddie gets things rockin’ with “Hot Patootie.”
Tying everything together is Randy
Miller as the Narrator. Tongue firmly implanted in cheek, Miller recounts
the story with just the right touch of bemusement.
In addition the cast also includes
talented singer/dancer/comedians whose energy gives the show its momentum. They
are Destiny Hepner, Jess Pennington, Melissa Kaufmann, Jewell Brown, Megan
Centeno, Meghan Austin, and Elizabeth Limper as the Phantoms.
As always in a small theater, the
choreography can be challenging and Melissa Kauffman has met the challenge by
using not only the stage, but the aisles to make the most of each routine.
At the close of the show, audience
members are invited to join the cast to do the “Time Warp” and many of them do.
The entire show encourages audience participation. Special goodie bags can be
purchased before the show with items to be used on cue at various times
throughout the production.
The audience is encouraged to come in
costume and there is a contest at every performance.
The show is directed by Mark A. Drey with Nathan Patton as musical
director. The pit band includes Mark
Drey (conductor), Jim Kauffman, Jeff Schmidt and J.P. Feenstra.
Part science fiction, part B-horror
movie, this over-the top musical is not just a show, it’s an experience.
Remaining shows are Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 27at 8 p.m. and midnight in the
Alpha/Omega Performing Arts Center, 301 E. First Street, Birdsboro, PA
19508. For reservations, contact Alpha Omega Players at 610-404-4844.
Tickets are $22.