Rocky Horror Show is an October staple and this year, Alfresco Productions was happy to take the stage. With this show being a classic and attracts a cult following, expectation are very high. The question is, did Alfresco live up to that hype?
The show was staged at Alfresco Arts Center, a church-turned-theatre in the heart of Granite City. The setting is exactly what would be expected of the classic musical. With an amazing multi-level set designed by Nick Brunstein, the stage was set and ready for the audience, who was ready to start the heckling.
An interesting addition to the production was the “House Rules” that could be found in the program. Most of the rules are completely understandable and pretty common sense. One thing that kind of shocked and surprised me was rule #8:
DO NOT DANCE THE TIME WARP DURING THE SHOW. EVERYONE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO DANCE AFTER THE FINALE.
Really? Don’t dance? Isn’t that kind of the point of the show? One of my favorite things about seeing Rocky Horror Show is having the opportunity to become part of the show by participating in the heckling and the dancing and the different props. Being asked to not dance was quite a surprise. Prop bags were provided for a small fee and included all the necessary props and a “Dammit Janet” Jell-O Shot.
As the show began, Magenta, played by Vanessa Simpson, took the stage for the famed opening song, “Science Fiction.” With the use of the multi-level set, the show took off and the crowd went wild. The chemistry between Janet and Brad during “Dammit Janet” was fun and playful as Brad evaded all of Janet’s advances.
When Riff Raff took the stage, the show really took off. Mitch Ellis-Yapp took on the role and backed it up with excellent vocals and superb acting chops. Other stand-outs in the cast included Bethany Hamilton (Columbia) and Vanessa Simpson (Magenta).
George Doerr took on the uber-popular role of Frank’N Furter. As he entered the stage for the first time, the crowd was excited for his arrival but he lacked the charisma and energy that the role usually carries. Clayton Humburg portrayed Rocky Horror and while his voice was good, his overall performance was slightly awkward.
Overall, the performance was good and the company is excited to be sold out for their premiere weekend. There are still tickets available for next weekend’s performances but they seem to be going pretty quick so get yours before it’s too late. Tickets are only $13.
Due to popularity, the theatre company has added a midnight performance on Saturday, October 21. So if you still haven’t purchased your tickets, you better move fast.