This weekend, The University of Rhode Island Theatre Department closes out this season with Richard O’Brien’s classic musical, The Rocky Horror Show.
For those who have never seen the cult classic, it is a tribute and spoof of the horror and science fiction genres of early cinema, while covering themes and topics not generally covered by shows from the same era as Rocky. Having such a cult following, the musical has turned interactive, with members of the audience shouting back in response to particular lines and bantering with the narrator. The university is embracing this, allowing, and even encouraging, these callbacks, making the show an even more fun experience. It is a well-constructed performance but is not suited for all ages due to language and particular scenes.
The show follows the newly-engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, going to visit an old acquaintance, when their car breaks down, leaving them at the mansion of Doctor Frank-N-Furter, a scientist who is throwing a party for his newest creation at the time. At its core, it is truly a show about embracing yourself, no matter how society may perceive it.
Last time the university staged The Rocky Horror Show in 2010, it starred 2020 Tony Award winning actor Andrew Burnap. While none of the cast this time around has won any awards as prestigious just yet, each member truly made their characters come alive, performing excellently throughout. Particularly enjoyable are Ben Pereira, playing Frank-N-Furter, and Justin Peters, playing the Narrator. Pereira’s performance is incredible, made only more impressive by the fact that his choreographed songs and dances are performed entirely in restrictive and difficult clothing, a corset and heels. While Peters did not have as technically impressive role, his improvised responses to some callbacks helped make the show. As well, one particularly memorable moment involved the Narrator going on stage and looking at a screen with the rest of the cast. Following, he began to narrate from the stage. Upon noticing his spotlight on the side of the stage, he stopped, muttered an expletive, and marched to his spotlight like a small child would upon being told ‘no’, before continuing to narrate.
There are many more moments like these throughout the entire cast and the University of Rhode Island’s production of The Rocky Horror Show. The show is a great end to the theatre season. The show is running for one more weekend, at 7:30 P.M. from Thursday, April 28th, to Saturday, April 30th, and a Sunday matinee at 2:00 P.M. on May 1st. While it may not be something to bring the kids to, it is a great production and worth attending. Tickets for the show are $20 and can be purchased online.
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