Review by Marion Davis
Leave your inhibitions at home! You will not be disappointed. This is an excellent performance accomplished by the Stratford Festival. I did not see an empty seat in the house and all ages from 12 & up seemed to be there. It was surprising how little audience participation there was as compared to productions from the late 70’s and from the movie theatres; however, what participation there was, added to the overall show without drowning it out, and made this presentation what has become so popular in Stratford, namely “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. *
There was quite a bit of audience participation with two who seemed having been given lines to “shout out” when needed. Given the fact that this is an older production, there were some current information used: When the narrator (Steve Ross) is discussing what Brad and Janet have, one was a Costco membership. Then we have the metal container from “IKEA” – quite unexpected. Having seen the movie MANY times, there was concern that the stage production would be too similar. In fact, the beginning scene was almost verbatim. Then a wonderful thing happened. There were additions, and minor changes, and unexpected details, which made the entire show outstanding. The props far exceeded our expectations, especially in the lab.
Dr. Scott, played by Trevor Pratt, is thought to be FBI’s Dr. Van Scott who wants to capture aliens. The main character ‘Frank N. Furter,’ played by Dan Chameroy, sings about “Rocky” in reference to Rocky going against Frank N. Furter’s wishes. Rocky, played by George Krissa, wants his own free will and Frank N. Furter tells Rocky “I made you so I can break you” referring to his testicles (with hand motion). This is one of many innuendos not for the faint of heart. Eddy, also Trevor Pratt, is a Trump supporter… too funny!
Chameroy’s Frank N. Furter, seemed to be too “manly” to play such a part but, size notwithstanding, Dan (ahem) stepped into this role with grace and mastery. Steve Ross’ “Narrator”, was exceptional. Not only did he add a little flare to the otherwise “boring” role, he interacted with the audience’s call-outs with A+ timing. The two female roles which stood out, although not the main ones were Magenta, played by Erica Peck, –“over the top”; and Columbia, played by Kimberly-Ann Truong, – she is “way out there”.
The brother and sister in this production do a complete 360 when it comes to who is in control. Riff Raff, played by Markus, and Magenta in the beginning are servants of Frank N. Furter and in the end they take charge and extinguish the other aliens and take the house, leaving the earthlings.
This is the type of production that will go on and on because it lets loose of the wild side. Richard O’Brien does a fabulous job of putting this production together and it is a must-see if one can see past all the innuendos and be open minded. ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is at the Festival Theatre and the run has just been extended until November