It isn’t quite Halloween, but “The Rocky Horror Show” has made its way to a summer stop at Studio Theatre, at least for a few more days. The atmosphere of the evening is set early when you arrive and many of the supporting cast members are making their way through the audience in there barely there leather S&M like costumes engaging the audience in conversation. Whether finding out whether it was the audience members first experience with Rocky Horror and shouting “virgin!” and eliciting applause from the rest of the audience. Or another actor wearing a barely there leather thong getting a slightly embarrassed audience member to yell “cock!” as practice in case the actor had a wardrobe malfunction during the show. Of course, this is all before the show has even started.
As for the show, think of a slightly more S&M quality to this late night campy classic, which is opened with an up-close shot of the lips of the blue lipsticked Frank N. Furter inviting the audience to sing along with the chorus, but to leave the verses to him. In other words, this isn’t going to be an audience participation show like the late night movies, which was fine with me since I am not well versed in the Rocky Horror participation that diehard fans are and I’m not one who enjoys audience participation at the theatre generally. During intermission my theatre companion noted that certain characters weren’t as they were expected based on the movie, but such things passed me by having not seen a production of this show since 1995. But it did have all the campiness fun that you would expect from the show. My biggest complaint for the show is that there were some uneven singing performances by some of the cast members, but where it counted most they were spot on. I will add that I saw the replacement cast, so some of the original cast members were gone and may account for some of the unevenness. However, the star, Mitchell Jarvis as Frank N. Furter, was suberb as he was equally depraved, engaging and rather nimble in the high heels as he made his way around stage. All-in-all a fun summer event.