February 26, 2012

Rocky! (Bullwinkle!)

So I ended up waitlisting my way into the midnight show tonightóLongwood's mainstage is The Rocky Horror Show, which is, yes, the show on which the movie was based. It was a crazy fun experience, because all the serious Rocky fans (who know all the audience parts) were out in force for the midnight show. And unlike a showing of the film with audience parts, in a live show the actors get to respond to them, and pause for the audience line to finish before they delivered theirs. Interestingly, since this wasn't a single crowd of regulars who all knew all the same parts, it made the audience participation even better, because some of the lines the whole audience shouted while others were heckled up by one or two lone voices.

It's always interesting to see how the actors you've seen before will be cast in different roles, but on a show like this, it's especially fun seeing the casting revealed one-by-one. Riff-Raff was played by Chris Swanson, a music professor, which I knew in advance but it was still great fun seeing him emerge (in a pink and blue mohawk!). Brad (Justin Heavner) I had previously seen as a crotchety and somewhat deluded old man, and then as Jesus, but the entertaining part was that it took two scenes to even recognise him because he actually had hair this time. When Rocky (Beau Bryan) got revealed, I had a nagging thought that he looked familiar, but couldn't place him from either Juno or Godspell, when I suddenly realised that he had played Henry V himself last term down at Hampden-Sydney (particularly funny as I was wondering just last night why he was sitting out Picasso!). Janet (Abby Frank) I'd not seen before but she immediately stole every audience participation line she could.

The real scene-stealer for much of the show was the costuming, though. Frank'n'Furter was perfectly stunning in his wispy gown and feather boa (excellent makeup work as well), and quite a few of the costumes struck a careful and delicate balance between being extremely brief and yet functional. (Apparently there were some wardrobe malfunctions during the dress rehearsals, though!) Frank's corset and garters were obvious but well-executed; Rocky wore a gold singlet, which was probably a better choice than the trunks from the movie, as those would have required significant amounts of body glue. And actually, I was quite taken with Janet's slip; its fabric covered more than any of the other risquť costumes, but you got the impression than anyone wearing that kind of slip would feel much more unclothed in it than, say, Frank in his corset. But my favourite little costume detail was that Eddie was wearing a Meat Loaf T-shirt. That right there is attention to detail, my friends.

This show is an immense amount of fun. If you fancy yourself a prude you might not like it, but otherwise, this show is not to be missed.

"In my experience it's the people who are born on third base who are the most enraged at the poor---they want everyone to think they hit a triple." --Kip

Posted by blahedo at 2:39am on 26 Feb 2012
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