That sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania and his alien servants are at it again.
Audiences will once again be lured, just like gullible Brad Majors and his fiance, Janet Weiss, in from the rain when Big Apple Productions presents The Rocky Horror Show for a second year.
The production is back at the Interior Provincial Exhibition’s Horticulture Building in Armstrong just in time for Halloween.
“It was a major risk bringing this show to our community last year,” said Big Apple founder and artistic director Melina Moore. “I had nightmares that no one would come and we’d be performing to empty houses. Lo and behold, we had a fully sold-out run with people coming from as far as Revelstoke and Penticton. We were turning people away at the door.”
With music, lyrics and book by Richard O’Brien, the original theatrical Rocky Horror Show (the cult classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show came later, and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year) is a humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through to the early 1970s.
It tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad transvestite scientist unveiling his new creation, a sort of Frankenstein-style monster in the form of an artificially made, fully grown, physically perfect muscle man named Rocky, complete “with blond hair and a tan.”
“Seeing the show live is an unforgettable experience. At its core, our show tells a tale of braving a wilderness, of surviving lost innocence, of sexual awakening, about acceptance of difference, about birth and death, forgiveness and redemption, and the fall from grace of a transgressive god,” said Moore.
“Perhaps it’s Rocky’s underlying condemnation of our society’s sexual puritanicalism and hypocrisy that makes the show still relevant. But Rocky Horror is not just about sex, rock ‘n’ roll and mindless entertainment, this is smart, insightful satire that asks us to think about our culture, our appetites, our relationships, and the way we live our lives.”
The Horticulture Building on the IPE fairgrounds will once again be turned into an avant-garde, underground, chic Manhattan-style cabaret, with world-renowned muralist Michelle Loughery as set designer, lighting designer Beverley Peacock, and costumer Sue Gairns.
“This year’s crew is possibly one of the most extraordinary and talented I’ve ever worked with on any show,” said Moore. “The stars aligned to bring me Michelle. Her set mastery includes a fully working lab with every bell and whistle for Frank-n-Furter, severed heads in jars and a few items I can’t mention here.”
Steering the ship once again are stage director Neal Facey of Kelowna, and choreographer Lisa Schofield of Diversity Dance and Fitness.
“Working beside Neal and Lisa is sheer joy. Their energy, creativity and vision for this show are simply unsurpassed,” said Moore. “Of course, it helps to be directing a dream cast, which we have this year once again. Almost all of our former cast is returning, with a few wonderful new faces, bolstered by the extraordinary talents of the show’s key player, Sun FM’s own Brian Martin as Dr. Frank-n-Furter. His transformation is astounding.”
The Rocky Horror Show will be accompanied by a live band, including local musicians Steve Todd, Peter Padden, Jordan Dick and Doug Sonju, and the number of shows has been upped from three to five this year to account for the local enthusiasm and demand, said Moore.
“It is looking like this will become a yearly tradition. People are clamoring for it. And I want to give the public what they want,” she said.
The Rocky Horror Show opens Wednesday and runs to Friday, Oct. 30 with shows at 8 p.m. and a special Halloween performance Oct. 31 at 2 and 10 p.m. General admission and VIP front-row seating tickets are available at the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.
Seating is limited. Audiences are encouraged to get their tickets early. Costumes are also highly encouraged. The show contains mature content, and audience discretion is advised.