It’s saucy, sexy and campy to the extreme, and has become a Halloween cult classic.
It’s the only show where people dress up in their finest fishnets and leather corsets, throw rice, and yell out lines, some of which cannot be printed in a fine family publication such as this one.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show has its origins in the stage musical of the same name, minus the “Picture.”
Written by Richard O’Brien, who played Riff Raff in both the stage and film versions of Rocky Horror, the musical is an outrageous assemblage of the most stereotyped science fiction movies, Marvel comics, Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello outings and rock n’ roll of every vintage.
Those who have participated in the science fiction, double feature, or those who have never dared, will want to come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab when Vernon-based theatre company Big Apple Production stages its third annual Rocky Horror Show.
Previously at the Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong, this year’s production is moving to new digs in the pavilion at O’Keefe Ranch, where the Halloween fun is extended to the ranch’s Field of Screams haunted corn maze.
“The pairing of Rocky Horror and O’Keefe’s Field of Screams is a match made in heaven. O’Keefe has been incredibly accommodating to us, welcoming Rocky with open arms,” said Big Apple producer Melina Moore, who is also musical director for the production. “The show is now fully wrapped and heated. It’s been transformed into a Manhattan-esque, underground theatre space.”
Directed for a third year by Kelowna’s Neal Facey, this year’s Rocky Horror has been changed significantly, so those who have attended in past years will be able to experience a new production, said Moore.
“There is some very high shock value this year. Viewer discretion is advised,” she said. “We are the only theatre group in the Valley using a live band for our show, and putting the audience right in the action with theatre-in-the-round.”
A number of Big Apple cast members are reprising those famed characters, including the show’s star, Sun FM morning host Brian Martin in his now infamous role as the iconic Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
“His character continues to evolve, and this is truly a part Brian was born to play. He is comedic, convincing and complicated as the legendary sweet transvestite, created by Tim Curry in the original film. You cannot take your eyes off Brian from the moment he enters the stage, and that’s not just because of the six-inch stilettos,” said Moore.
New this year in the role of Riff Raff is W.L. Seaton Secondary drama graduate Ethan Swift, who will be leaving Vernon in the spring to attend theatre school.
“We also have new members of our fantastic Phantom ensemble,” said Moore.
Audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favourite Rocky Horror character, or simply don some fishnets and a corset, said Moore.
“Audience participation is welcome, too. Everyone will want to get up and do the Time Warp with us.”
This is an epic year for Big Apple Productions.
Besides Rocky Horror, it will stage two other full productions for its 2016-2017 season. Next up is Jesus Christ Superstar, Feb. 24-25 at Trinity United Church, incorporating a massive chorus of singers from across the Valley and a 12-piece rock band, and then the legendary Kander & Ebb musical Chicago at the Powerhouse Theatre for a two-week run in June.
O’Keefe Ranch patrons can buy tickets to see the Rocky Horror Show only, or purchase a VIP pass to add the Field of Screams to their theatrical experience.
“Their pass will get them right to the front of the corn maze line, eliminating the hour-plus wait,” said Moore.
The Rocky Horror Show runs for six shows only, October 25-29, with a matinée performance on the 29th at 2 p.m. Doors for the evening shows open at 7:15 p.m. with the production starting at 8 p.m. The show runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are available at okeeferanch.ca or phone (250) 542-7868.