Sunday, October 16, 2011


If you’re itching “to go to a late night picture show” you’re probably a fan of the ROCKY HORROR phenomenon. If you don’t know about the cult midnight movies (where audiences yell and hurl objects at the screen), where have you been?

Stage versions of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW are up all over town right now. The Turtle Lane production of Richard O’Brien’s adaptation plays through October 30th and stars Tim McShea as the voluptuous Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter. O’Brien’s version submerges the central narrative (it helps if you know the movie) but this isn’t Shakespeare. The songs and antics more than make up for the plot confusion. (Fans of the movie will find the pace of the live musical uneven without film editing to keep it zipping from scene to scene.) That said, when it cooks, it kills.

Here are my faves: Andrea Giangreco kick starts the show with her high voltage, take-no-prisoners “Science Fiction.” Brad and Janet (Kyle Carlson and Nicole Vander Laan) are sweet and adorably naïve but let’s face it, it’s the freaks who throw the show into high gear. McShea and cohorts Giangreco and Devon Greenbaum ratchet up the volume, nobly assisted by a ghoulish David Lucey as an alien Igor and Harry McEnerny as a mad German scientist (is there any other kind?). But it’s Harry Rothman as the wacky, wide-eyed narrator who’s the icing on the cake, out-dancing the gorgeous young ghosty things in “The Time Warp.”

Julie Ann Lucchetti’s choreography is hilarious, right down to the tiger claws in her warp, as are Richard Itczak’ cheeky costumes. Director Richard Repetta’s cast (for the most part) keeps the action hopping. Here’s a quandary. Some of the actors react to the hecklers in the audience. Some do not. In my opinion it works better when they acknowledge the insults. It’s a matter of rhythm, I suppose. Music director Matt McGrath would have something to say about that. His band (especially Cam Wharram on wailing sax) rocked the roof off the stately TLP building. It’s high time they did that time warp!