by Lorie Lewis Ham
Details at the end of this review on how to win tickets to see Rocky Horror Show on November 16!
This past weekend I had the chance to see the Rocky Horror Show presented by Artists’ Repertory Theatre in Fresno and it was a blast! When I saw their production of this show last year, it was the first time I had ever seen any version of Rocky Horror–including the movie. I now hope to make this an annual event!
For those who have never seen the show I’m going to borrow from my review last year to attempt to explain the plot. This show is kind of a spoof of the old silly 50s sci-fi movies. Typical boy and girl next door, newly engaged, break down on the side of the road–Brad (Terry Lewis) and Janet (Katharine Dorian). They go to an old castle looking to use the phone and their life is never the same again. A very gothic, unusual looking butler/handyman, Riff Raff (Peter Allwine) greets them at the door, along with a host of characters that look like a cross between gothic and saloon singers in the old west. Finally, they meet the master of the house, Dr. Frank’N’Furter (Daniel Chavez Jr.), who is almost beyond description. He is a cross dressing, over the top character played beautifully by Daniel, who also directs the show. Frank’N’Furter is a mad scientist of the 50s sci-fi variety with a different sort of twist, he is trying to make for himself the perfect man–enter now Rocky (Javier Padilla).
The story goes through many twists and turns, with a fitting ending for an old sci-fi spoof. Everything about this show is over the top and loads of fun–even the pre-show!
Audience participation is almost a must, and yelling and cheering are encouraged. Those more familiar with the show quote and interact with dialogue all the way through, and you can get a grab bag full of items that you are expected to use at different points. You may also find yourself pulled on stage during the pre-show, and possibly seated next to a cast member at some point. And everyone is encouraged to join in “The Time Warp” at the end.
To add to the movie theatre feel, popcorn and soda are available at intermission and they even go through the crowd selling it so you don’t have to leave your seat.Daniel Chavez Jr. is again Frank ‘N’ Furter–I can’t imagine anyone else playing that role so perfectly! There were also some different cast members this time around. Peter Allwine took on the role of Riff Raff and Danielle Jorn played Magenta–both were funny and awesome as always. Sarah Waxman is Columbia–a role that highlighted her graceful dance moves. Terry Lewis is Brad this time, and while this is a different type of role than I’ve seen him play before, he always manages to play every role perfectly and I just love that voice! I’m sad to say we will be losing Danielle and Sarah to New York soon–they will be greatly missed from the Fresno stage and we wish them all the best.
During the pre-show, and as the ushers, Cody Bianchi and Camille Gaston treated us to their beautiful voices as well. There wasn’t a misstep in this show! It is silly, raunchy and loads of fun, filled with very talented performers! I can’t wait to see it again next year!
Once again, I do have to warn that this show earns its R Rating, and there are bits of nudity in it (male butts), so if this bothers you don’t go. But if you are up for a ton of fun, hilarity, and some great singing, go! This is without a doubt one of the funnest shows you will see all year! Rocky Horror is more than a show–it’s an experience!
Rocky Horror Show can be seen at Cal Arts Academy Severance Theater in the Tower, 1401 N. Wishon, Fresno. The show runs through November 16, and then again from December 27-31. Can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year! You can learn more details on their KRL event page and on their website.
To enter to win a pair of tickets to the November 16 performance, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Rocky,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 10, 2013. U.S. residents only.
And watch out Fresno, this year Artists’ Repertory Theatre will have a full season, with Daniel as their new artistic director! Watch here for info on their shows and auditions.