Out of this World: ROCKY HORROR at The Eagle Theatre

by Jason D. Smith
 Bryan Mead as "Brad," Michelle Cabot as "Janet" in The Eagle Theatre's ROCKY HORROR. Photo credit: Joseph Bruno.

Bryan Mead as “Brad,” Michelle Cabot as “Janet” in The Eagle Theatre’s ROCKY HORROR. Photo credit: Joseph Bruno.

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW with music, lyrics, and book by Richard O’Brien is not your typical musical. Directed by Ed Corsi with musical direction by Tom Abruzzo and choreography by Kate Scharff the show combines rock & roll with unintentional humor and aspects of improvisational brilliance.

ROCKY HORROR is a two act musical comedy with a fifteen-minute intermission and centers on newlywed couple Brad (Bryan Mead) and Janet (Jennie Knackstedt). After their car breaks down in the middle of a storm the couple takes shelter in a nearby castle owned by a cross-dressing scientist known as Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Josh Bessinger). The resulting debacle that is their evening yields bouts of sex, drama, and suspense.

The opening sequence “Science Fiction Double Feature,” performed by Magenta (portrayed by Rachel Pinkstone-Marx), Columbia (played by Samantha Morrone), and the Phantoms, enthralls audience members right from the beginning. The costumes and makeup draw immediate attention due to their provocative and suggestive nature. The talent projected by Pinkstone-Marx and Morrone is captivating both in the opening number and throughout the performance. Mead and Knackstedt also provide a strong vocal presence throughout and Bessinger’s portrayal of Frank-N-Furter was all encompassing. He wowed the audience with his ability to improvise and his outstanding vocal performance. His ability to cover all ranges of emotion and personality makes him an instant crowd-pleaser. All of the cast members provide outstanding performances throughout the evening.

Josh Bessinger as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror. Photo credit: Marissa Sacrenty Photography.

Josh Bessinger as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror. Photo credit: Marissa Sacrenty Photography.

The outstanding use of multimedia adds to the success of the production. A projector screen at the start of the performance ties in the on-screen version of the show. Lighting designer Chris Miller does an outstanding job adding another facet to the production. The four-member band is also commendable, their accompaniment is on wonderful throughout. Kate Scharff provided brilliant choreography which significantly enhanced the production.

Ed Corsi and the Eagle Theatre have once again provided the community with a fantastic production filled with brilliant actors and actresses, outstanding musicians and choreography, and so much more. I strongly recommend this production for all theatregoers (mature audiences only).

Conceived by Richard O’Brien
Directed by Ed Corsi
October 26, 27 & 31 2012
November 2 & 3 2012
The Eagle Theatre
208 Vine Street
Hammonton NJ 08037

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