It’s true, the freaks still come out at night.
Part *guerrilla* theatre, part campy cinematic sci-fi rock ‘n’ roll feast, the Rocky Horror Show is a thrill ride that must be experienced at least once in one’s adult life.
Now celebrating its 43rd year on the stage (41st year on film), the mayhem continues to this day and is made even better when it’s seen live, on stage, in a barn, in the middle of Spallumcheen.
Big Apple Production’s third annual Rocky Horror Show, currently enjoying a five-show run at its new home in O’Keefe Ranch’s pavilion (horse manure smells add to the 4D experience) is better, broader and brasher than ever before.
I’m not going to go on about the plot to this tale, as to be honest, it is absolutely ridiculous, but for anyone who has ever entered those weathered doors over at the Frankenstein place, there’s no turning back. It still comes with the disclosure, that if you get offended easily, then you’re best checking out reruns of Leave it to Beaver.
As a cult classic, the virgins are as important to this show as are the freaks; you know the ones who can repeat all the character lines, and all the “other” lines, and pack their props (newspaper, waterguns, rice) to throw, but not at the actors, in this case, please.
Although my co-worker companion admitted to seeing RHPS while a student at BCIT (his memory of the night being a tad “foggy”), our kindly usherette, über producer Melina Moore, still painted a V on his forehead just to make him feel special.
He, and the rest of us, was hooked as our lovely hostess Moore stepped out to sing the opening number Science Fiction, Double Feature before settling herself down in the wings to show her prowess on the piano along with the multi-talented Rocky Horror band. These guys rocked the pants off us.
Speaking of that, this production has all the naughty bits attached and then some, and after seeing Rocky (a fit Mike Waldegger) in his tight, gold lamé bikini briefs, you get the drift.
Also spending a lot of time in their tighty whities are Brad and Janet, played by Craig Howard and Amanda Graves, who are a delight especially in their bedroom scene – in this case, a bed turned upright so you can see all the shenanigans played out –– a soft X rating.
As for the entrance of that certain local radio show host dressed in drag, Brian Martin as Dr. Frank -N-Furter didn’t disappoint.
He was truly born to play the sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania. You feel his sass and get the irony as he belts out, “Don’t get strung out by the way I look; don’t judge a book by its cover.”
I’ll try not to, Brian, but it will be forever impossible to look at you and not imagine you in fishnets, high heels, black leather corset, and red ruby lips… Sorry, my friend.
Ethan Swift is another revelation in his role as Riff Raff, singing the rock ‘n’ roll raunch required in perfect pitch. Get this boy to a professional theatre, and quick!
Also camp-tastic is Susan Evans as maid Magenta, and Peter Byrnes as the Narrator, questionably the only sane one in this production (the jury is still out on that).
Louise Boisvert lit up the room with her lovely voice and amazing dance moves (just look at those splits!) and Alex Patterson as Eddie made the whole room want to sing along to Hot Patootie and even did double duty here as Dr. Scott.
And you can’t do the Time Warp without a chorus of fabulous singers and dancers, and the Phantoms did just that moving the show along with their slithering and well-choreographed moves, courtesy of original choreographer Lisa Schofield and dance captain Patrick Yurkiw.
A big top hat also to director Neal Facey and the rest of the cast and crew for an extremely fun night out. My virgin pal and I thank you all!
The Rocky Horror continues at O’Keefe Ranch tonight (Oct. 27), Friday, Oct 28 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 and 8 p.m. Contact the ranch at okeeferanch.ca or call (250) 542-7868 for tickets.
– Kristin Froneman is the arts -entertainment editor at the Vernon Morning Star