Rocky Horror is a rollicking good time, complete with audience participation and inclusive casting
I wasn’t sure what to expect Friday evening when I arrived at Hart House Theatre to see The Rocky Horror Show. I was a Rocky Horror virgin!
Yes, I saw the movie, but that was years ago. It was also before the rituals: throwing toast, confetti, and rice; the water guns; the callbacks; and the audience costumes. I’m not a costume girl. No projectiles or water guns were allowed at this performance, but callbacks were encouraged, and there were lots of other people not wearing costumes. Great! I could relax and enjoy.
And enjoy I did! I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much or for so long.
My friend Ryan and I both ran into people we knew after the show and they all thought it was great. As we were leaving, Ryan said, “There’s your review. Everyone’s saying it was great, they really enjoyed it, it was so funny.” And they were. If you trust an entire audience, you can stop reading and buy tickets.
If you want more information, keep reading. I have to admit that I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t take many notes, hardly any at all, so I may miss mentioning things that were amazing.
The first thing I noticed, and loved, was the casting. Director Jennifer Walls brought a fresh perspective to a stage classic with her inclusive casting. There were two people in the chorus who looked like body-builders and were terrific dancers, dancing in heels. There were a few people with scantily clad bodies that we don’t normally see on stage. So wonderful to see!
All of the cast was fantastic. Every one of them. I was blown away by the acting and singing and dancing.
All of Kathleen Black’s costumes were fabulous; so many sequins, so much glitter, all the colours. I think the thing that impressed me most was the sheer number of costumes that the Narrator wore. There were a lot of costume changes, and they were all wonderful. The other thing I particularly liked were the light-up designs on the dancers’ tops in a couple of the numbers.
I’m not sure if the credit for the Narrator’s splendid hairstyle should go to Black or to Make Up Designer Bebe Brunjes. It was amazing. As was all the makeup.
Meanwhile, Brandon Kleiman’s set was all angles and reflective surfaces and Andre du Toit’s lighting made the most of it with light bouncing back and forth, and adding to the energy on stage.
There were a couple of mic glitches, but they didn’t detract from Jeremy Hutton’s sound design; probably would have just pissed him off and I’m sure they’ll be taken care of by Saturday. Nice to have a live band. Musicals are always better with a band.
Go see The Rocky Horror Show. You’ll love it.
- The Rocky Horror Show is playing until October 12 at the Hart House Theatre (7 Hart House Circle)
- Shows are Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00pm with a 2:00pm matinee on Saturday October 12
- Ticket prices range from $15 to $28
- Tickets are available online, by phone at 416-978-2452, and in person at the box office
Photo of Will Mackenzie as Brad, Natasha Buckeridge as Dr. Scott and Chris Tsujiuchi as Frank ‘N’ Furter by Scott Gorman