Having Fun and Doing a Time Warp with Barnstormers’ THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

by Paul Trimbur

David Hastings (Narrator) with (left to right) Jennifer Bruce,
Alexia O’Neill, Natalie Mauger, Kristen Matsen and Shannon Sexton in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the movie made of the stage musical THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW. The stage version is pretty much the same as the movie: a mixture of 1950s Rock & Roll music and bad science fiction/horror movie dialogue. As most of you know this is not a show to go and see if you want to sit back and relax. Audience participation is highly encouraged (even if you don’t want to)—the actors encircle the audience and might even rub you with a body part! Yes; this production is crude, rude and lewd. Actors show lots of skin and both the stage actors and audience members (remember audience participation is highly encouraged) use potty language. If you do not know the plot of this show then research it before you go. The plot at this production gets lost with audience participation but that is not negative thing because 98% of the audience can recite the dialogue from memory.

This is truly an ensemble show as the majority of the cast is onstage and/or in the audience for most of the show. The Transylvanians (think chorus) provides the “surround sound” and keep the pace lively. Matt Phillips-English as Brad and Chrissy Stief as Janet do a good job of portraying the naivety of their characters; theirs is a tough job while everyone else gets to do over-the-top fun stuff. Dawn Sheppard as Usherette/Magenta; David C. Hastings as Narrator; Danielle Lachall as Riff Raff; Ken Price as Dr. Scott and Emily Ann Murphy as Columbia all are worth mentioning because they have their moments of shining and making the most of their supporting cast roles. Andrew John Mitchell is Frank-n-Furter—a role he was born to play; he does it with such ease. As Rocky, Caleb Wimble plays a character so unlike his usual Shakespearean roles his great singing voice and muscle flexing make it look like he is enjoying a tropical vacation. The whole cast was having so much fun performing that it was contagious.

Front: Emily Ann Murphy (Columbia). Back (left to right): JR Rosas, Anthony Remer, Jennifer Bruce, Shannon Sexton. Photo credit: Gina Coviello Hastings.

The band does a really great job on this score; even though most of the cast is body miked they don’t over power the actors. Sometimes you might not be able to hear the actors but that is because the audience members and Transylvanians are doing their job of getting the audience participating. Marsho L. Amato-Greenspan did a great job of directing this talented cast; they deal very well and feed off of the audience participation while keeping everything going at a good pace. The whole theater space is used very well. Make sure you get there early to enjoy the “pre-show” done with entertainment by Sharon Daws, Natalie Mauger, Jennifer Bruce and audience members. Also stay for the end and go on stage to do the Time Warp dance yourself.

If you want to relive your distant or not-so-distant youth of going to see and participating in THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW when you were in high school or college then go to see this production of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at The Barnstormers ASAP. They know how do this show right! For $5 a bag they sell you all the props you need to participate in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW plus they sell popcorn, soft pretzels and candy while the BYOB up to you. FYI—they are doing a special show on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31, 2012!

Book, Music and Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
Directed by Marsha L. Amato-Greenspan
Assistant Directors Sharon Daws and Courtney Gardner
October 19 – November 3, 2012
The Barnstormers Theater
Ward and Tome Streets
Ridley Park, Pa 19078

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