THE ROCKY HORROR SHOWBook, Music and Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theatre
Director: Rebecca Lowrey
Choreographer: Christina Kudlicki Hoth
Set Design: Alex Krus
Light Design: Andrew Makepeace
Costumes: Hope Cox
Stage Manager: Sienna Riehle
Rebecca Lowrey – Piano
Aaron Sutton – Guitar
Benjamin Brown – Bass
Ray Rose – Drums
Catherine Conkin – Tenor Sax
Frank-N-Furter: Branden A. Bailey
Janet Weiss: Allison Good
Brad Majors: Joshua Sherman
Riff Raff: Jared Culpepper
Magenta: Samantha Snow
Columbia: Lindsey Smith
Rocky Horror: Rodney M. Morris
Eddie/Dr. Scott: Alex Rain
Narrator: Robert Bradford Smith
Christina Kudlicki Hoth
Reviewed Performance: 10/18/2018
Reviewed by Darlene Singleton, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
For many who grew up in the 70s they might have a fond remembrance of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW which was a 1975 cult classic movie that paid tribute to the science fiction and horror B-movies that spanned from the 1930s to 1960s. Simply stated it is the story where two very ‘square’ sweethearts spend the night in the castle of a transvestite scientist. Well that fond remembrance did not include me – not that I am considered square, but to be honest I had never seen the movie, nor did I quite understand the whole premise of the show. And, I’ve learned that if you’ve never seen the show then you are considered a Virgin. So yes, I was a Virgin. But I write this today to proudly proclaim I am now a strong member of the Time Warp fan club and can even provide a bit of Rocky Horror etiquette, talk-back and dress codes.
The story centers on a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle or country home is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. They discover the head of the house is Dr. Frank-N-Furter, an apparent mad scientist who actually is an alien transvestite who creates a living muscle man in his laboratory. The couple are seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control.
As with all productions of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, audience interjections occur. The frequent audience additions, for the large part, enhanced the overall experience. The performance I attended was opening night and it was fun to watch the actors onstage (as well as the band members – especially the bass and guitar players) react to the audience interpretations of the dialogue.
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW’s first act was the fastest, greatest energy, and most enjoyable hour of theatre I’ve seen recently. The production has a large cast of strange characters and amazingly there was not one weak link in the whole ensemble. The voices and dancing ability were mesmerizing. Janet Weiss (Allison Good) and Brad Majors (Joshua Sherman) had incredible transformations from naïve young lovers to adults separately radiating sexuality.
At the forefront was Frank-N-Furter (Branden A. Bailey) who gave us all a great rendering of “I’m Going Home” and he rarely missed a beat when the audience decided to interject. Mr. Bailey’s timing and stage appeal turned any “virgin” of the show into a full-fledged Rocky advocate (yes that was me). He appeared extremely confident in his ‘star of the show’ role, while highlighting the incredible ensemble and supporting performances around him.
And, dang people – when Rocky (Rodney M, Morris) appears on the stage for the first time the audience actually all gasped – he is a triple threat for sure - he has an incredible voice, dance moves that would rival Hugh Jackman, and did I mention he had muscles that expanded to the top row of the theater. Mr. Morris is really the perfect-specimen-of-a-man – for real.
Riff Raff (Jared Culpepper), Magenta (Samantha Snow), and Columbia (Lindsey Smith) all were equally remarkable, and their vocals were amazing. Magenta and Columbia actually stole the show in many of the scenes – they were that good.
Robert Bradford Smith (Narrator) did an awesome job staying on track as he veered back and forth to dodge the audience’s remarks – there were several times I could not stop laughing from watching his expressions and pauses.
Rounding out the extremely talented ensemble was Alex Rain as Eddie/Dr. Scott, along with Christina Kudlicki Hoth, Stephanie Ormston, Tomas Moquete, Evan Anderson, Jonathan Hardin, and Michael Christian.
Director Rebecca Lowrey did an amazing job with both direction and music direction - to oversee this large and extremely talented cast is a major accomplishment for any director but to also serve as the music director as well as the pianist for every performance was huge and her ability to do all this is truly an exceptional talent that few are blessed with. The band was an integral part of the performance and Rebecca led them with skill and precision from start to finish. I would love to see this show again just to watch her orchestrate the entire performance.
Overall the show was fabulous and constantly entertaining, but one scene will forever stand out in my mind and that is when Brad and Janet’s car breaks down. Please do not miss any part of this scene – from the windshield wipers to the tire going flat - the inventiveness of this entire scene is pure genius.
Being the ‘virgin’ to the show that I was, I attended with two girlfriends who had seen (and were big fans) of the show. They laughingly teased me that they were going to watch me watch the show. And to admit, I was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing but the NRPA production was a great introduction for me to absorb the world of ROCKY HORROR. I’m certain, at least for the next few days, I will be singing “Let's do the time-warp again, it’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right, with your hands on your hips, you bring your knees in tight – la, la, la, la. Let's do the time-warp again.
Take my advice – do not miss this show. You will be so glad you bought a ticket and visited the world of ROCKY HORROR.
6121 W. Park Blvd. #B216, Plano, Texas 75093
Production dates continue through October 27, 2018