Stage Wright Presents: Rocky Horror Picture Show

The 70’s musical comedy horror cult classic “Rocky Horror” written by Richard O'Brien, played at Wilbur Wright College from October 26-29, 2011 with 7 pm and 10 pm shows, as well as, Nov 3-5 at 7 pm. The phantoms (played by Joshua Bomba, Kris Ortiz, Kasia Mossakowski, Marie Gaor, Danielle Joy and Caitlyn Lamantia), wander around the theater, mingling with the guests in the audience. Staying in character from the moment they entered the theater, as they roam around, looking at each person as if they are a piece of meat. This is the first of many, acts of raunchiness, which kicks the show off on a good note. The phantoms, although funny, are mediocre singers. But rightfully mediocre, this show isn't meant to be performed perfectly. Bomba wore a fur vest that made him look irresistible & Ortiz wore skimpy shorts, with a see-through shirt making him eye candy for both sexes. Lamantia & Mossakowski wore dresses showing off their legs. Their makeup concept was confusing—it seemed as if a child had made markings on their faces, and they had dyed hair to match.

In typical tradition, moments before the show starts, all the virgins are brought onto stage and embarrassed by those who have seen the show before, as they yell “VIRGINS!” at them. Although prop bags were not sold for this show, audience callbacks were encouraged. The night I went, it was clear that two people were uber fans of the show and the rest of the audience jeered, laughed and shouted things back. This show clearly has blown the top off etiquette in the theater and the topic of sexuality.

During the second song of the musical, the innocent character Brad Majors [ASSHOLE!] (Robert Puig) proposes to seemingly pure Janet Weiss [SLUT!] (Stephanie Ricoy) and they sing “Dammit Janet”. Puig and Ricoy can be praised for their beautiful harmonies and flawless portraying the two leading characters with just enough satire, as they walk through a storm—as the phantoms follow closely behind them with small water guns spraying them with water. The chemistry between these two is mesmerizing and the juxtaposition of the dainty costumes for them two and the rest of the cast clearly establishes the world. One of the many laughs comes when the newlyweds walk up to Dr. Frank N Furter’s (Richi Rosary) eerie castle and Brad rings the doorbell and it makes some absurdly loud and strange ring. Riff-Raff (Larry Trice) greets them and it leads to “Sweet Transvestite” that introduces the audience to Dr. Frank N Furter.

From there, it all goes downhill for the characters as Rosary's rendition of the cult classic villain tugs on our heartstrings. Rosary is a hoot as comes onto stage for the first time wearing silver shorts and a corset with matching thigh high heels which leave little to the imagination. He was greeted with applause and gasps. Although he flubbed one of his lines at the end of the song, Rosary never broke character and was fully prepared to respond when audience members shouted things at him, as he attempted to get his lines out. Throughout the show, the narrator (Nick Voss) offers insight and helps forward the show. He is the only person that seems to contain his sexual urges and composure, yet has momentarily lapses of judgment, perhaps calculated ones, such as when she slaps the butt of another male cast member.

Eventually the innocence of Brad and Janet is taken away by Frank N Furter when they each have sex with him, without the other knowing. It was choreographed with such poise and acted with such gusto and hilarity from behind a white curtain as you see Brad and Janet in various sexual positions. Rocky's (Justin Pierce) singing was extremely pitchy; his solo number “The Sword of Damocles” consisted of one wrong note after the next, which could have left any audience member cringing in their seat.Overall, Voss is the only person who appears to be from Earth (other than Brad and Janet) in the show, dressed in a suit with hair slick back; whereas, the rest of the cast, was dressed provocatively, as they gracefully flail across the stage. This adds a layer of authenticity, which sticks true to the original film version and the made-up place of Transexual, Transylvania. Dr. Scott (Jose Aviles) fully engulfs himself, openly in the madness during the second act unleashing his legs adorned with stockings and heels.

The show goes without any technical difficulties, other than some feedback from Rosary’s microphone—which I later discovered to most likely be a not-so-entertained audience member who was sitting in front of me using his phone and probably interfering with wireless signals - and Janet’s slip strap breaking during a dance number. This show breaks the typical productions that Stage Center selects. This instance of the 4th wall removed allows the audience to relieve all the tension built up inside. This is a place where they can go and feel normal and safe, as they shout things such as “boring” when the narrator comes out to speak and things are shouted for the actors to respond to—often leading to a laugh or two.