Review: Rocky Horror Show (Lower Ossington Theatre)

I’m going to start by saying this: do not expect to see toast thrown. There is a strict no-toast-throwing rule. I know. I was disappointed as well.

Rocky Horror Show is currently playing at the Lower Ossington Theatre. And while you’ve probably seen different versions of this show a million times, this company has managed to breathe new life, new energy, and a new look into the Transylvanian classic.

As I sat in the darkened theatre with my devilishly good-looking companion, Rachel, I took in the set before me. As Rachel described it, the stage, backed with a chain-link fence and littered with inset television screens, looks like something you might find in a club on Church Street.

I had been informed upon my arrival that the live production of Rocky Horror always includes ‘callbacks’ from the audience. This means that you should expect rude and crude responses from your fellow audience members as the actors sing and act onstage. The intention, of course, is to get a response from the characters. The outcome is pretty hilarious.

I can’t say enough about how brilliant and stunning Adam Norrad is in the role of Dr. Frank’N’Furter. Not only is his style and confidence enviable, his voice is mesmerizing. Rachel and I couldn’t help but be a bit jealous when a guy behind us got a smooch from Dr. Frank in the first act. Swoon.

The show has everything that Rocky Horror fans love about the experience of the show – minus the toast throwing – but with a few fresh choices. Among the fabulous things about this production is the choice to cast Ms. Hilary Wilson in the role of Dr. Scott and Eddie. Watching her perform her roles –and match wits with the cleverest of our audience members- was one of the highlights of the night for me.

Rachel noted that she would have liked to see the actors playing some of her favourite characters make braver and more unique choices in this original and energetic production, but she was thoroughly entertained by the company. She was even yelling delightful quips at the actors by the second act.

Needless to say, this is definitely not a production for kids. Seriously. Don’t bring your kids. But it’s a feel-good evening of comedy for you and a group of friends, particularly during the hallowe’en season. It sold out last year, so grab your tickets now.

Details
– Rocky Horror Show is playing at Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington) until October 31, 2011
– Show runs: Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., with 11:00 p.m. shows on Fridays and Saturdays. Special Hallowe’en show on Monday.
– Ticket prices range from $28.50 to $38.50
– Tickets available at http://ticketwise.ca/index.php?event_id=80

 

Photo of Jeni Walls as Magenta and Brian Gregory as Riff Raff taken by Marina Degteva