The Return of Rocky Horror

The Return of Rocky Horror

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With Halloween just around the corner comes a rather festive and spooky vibe that brings out a finely tuned mix of childhood wonder and adult fixations that collaborate in bringing out both the best and sometimes the strangest in adults. With that in mind there is no better way to celebrate the gleeful wickedness of the season than by experiencing the dark humor and irreverent fun of the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Show” which is exclusively playing at Pioneer Theatre Company beginning October 24th at 5:00 pm and ending October 25th with two evening performances. All the horror and sexy elements of the adult Halloween experience will be on full display with this interactive cultural phenomenon that will have audiences indulging in all its spirited raunchy fun.
“This is not part of our subscription and we have been very clear that there is some content that people might find objectionable and this is maybe not the show for them,” says Karen Azenberg, PTC Artistic Director. “On the other hand there are a whole lot of people who enjoy that fun more risqué content and will be excited by this. We are not tempering the material at all and it kind of is what it is and if you know the movie we will be doing all those things that happen in the movie to one degree or another on stage.”
For those hardcore fans who are part of the “Rocky Horror” cult following this will surely come as good news as the seriously funny sexual debauchery of “Rocky Horror” has delighted fans from its inception in the late seventies and has managed to stay culturally relevant throughout the years due in part to its adult themes of cross dressing and more than a few romps in the garden of earthly delights. “Rocky Horror” follows the straight laced couple Brad and Janet who are recently engaged and become swept up into the crazy and zany world of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a self proclaimed “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania” who introduces the couple to his “Rocky” creation and more than a few sexual hijinks along the way.
“Rocky Horror” is directed by Azenberg, who just wrapped up directorial duties on “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, and goes from directing a family friendly play about teenage angst to a play that delves deep into an adult sexual psyche that would make even Freud blush along with the pressures of appealing to it’s rather large and devoted fan base.
“It’s very hard because there are people who will come to “Rocky” with some very specific expectations and I hope we are close enough to those expectations that they feel satisfied,” relates Azenberg. “But I’m also hoping that we get a few “Rocky Horror” virgins and connect with them. It’s a lot of pressure with something as iconic as this and to put it on stage is a challenge.”
The “Rocky” cast is led by Broadway veteran Tony Vincent who plays the lead role of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a character that is part Sigmund Freud and part soft porn film director. Vincent brings a wealth of talent and experience from Broadway where he has performed in “Rent”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and Green Day’s “American Idiot”. Vincent boasts a back ground in rock and roll with a powerful singing voice that catapulted him into the role of Furter despite his lack of dark comedic experience.
“The show itself is rooted in rock and roll and that’s the world I come from but anything where the music is driving the show is exciting to me,” says Vincent, “The fact it has a dark comedic element and it’s kind of tongue in cheek is a really exciting thing to be part of. I have never played a role like this to date, so anytime you’re given a new opportunity to be challenged as an actor is exciting.”
Though Vincent is playing a role made famous by actor Tim Curry he isn’t concerned about trying to live up to expectations created by Curry’s take on Furter but rather meeting his own expectations for the role.
“The storyline is different from anything I have played in the past. Not just because he is a cross dresser or a transvestite but because he is a little bit more flamboyant than the roles that I’m used to,” says Vincent, “ One thing I don’t want to do is emulate what someone has done before me. Tim Curry’s performance was fantastic but I don’t want to do that. I think when actors try to emulate what has been done before they miss an opportunity to be true to what they are so I need to make this my own. “
While Vincent may be new to Salt Lake theatre local fans may very well recognize the voice of
“The Narrator” in the show that is played by Senator Jim Dabakis who represents Utah’s 2nd senate district.
“I’m very nervous. This could truly be a very humiliating event. It’s just me out there raw, it’s the most ambitious thing I have ever tried to do,” says Dabakis. “Give me Gayle Ruzicka telling me my marriage is no good, give me the Governor pounding every dime out of school kids and I’m happy to face them but this is difficult.”
While Dabakis may be concerned about his role as “The Narrator” he does have some Halloween trick or treats for any University of Utah student who attends “Rocky Horror” and of their own volition decide to give Dabakis a sincere hearty applause.
“If there is a lot of applause I can tell you tuition will be cut in half,” says Dabakis. “That’s a direct quote, a lot of applause, a lot of energy; we are looking at half tuition.” If the thought of cross dressing transvestites with voracious sexual appetites and Frankensteinesque mutant creations aren’t enough incentive for U of U students to celebrate Halloween by attending “Rocky Horror” surely the offering of half tuition should be the tastiest treat of all, unless of course it’s a trick. Tickets for this limited engagement can be purchased online at http://www.pioneertheatre.org/ and at the ticket office.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]