Arts, Arts Festival 2022

‘The Rocky Horror Show’ Depicts Eccentric Night of Pleasure and Dancing

High heels, glitter, and corsets were the garments of choice for the characters engaging in Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter’s enticing life of pleasure in The Rocky Horror Show. The soaring vestibules of the “Frankenstein Place” and the brightly colored lights and costumes transported the audience to Frank ‘N’ Furter’s castle. A few audience members even dressed up to match those on stage. 

From April 27 to May 1, the BC theatre department’s production of The Rocky Horror Show, directed by Monan Professor in Theatre Arts Summer L. Williams, took over Robsham Theater’s main stage.

Richard O’Brien’s tale followed the wild encounter between the innocent Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, and the strange Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter and his Transylvanian groupies, including Riff Raff, Magenta, and Columbia.

The Usherette, played by Devyn Itula, MCAS ’22, introduced the show with the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” and then the action of this entertaining tale began. After getting engaged, Brad Majors (Gabe Biagi, MCAS ’25) and Janet Weiss (Madison Baker, MCAS ’22) embark on a journey to visit their former teacher, Dr. Scott (Ryan Kitz, MCAS ’23). 

But the pair becomes sidetracked when their car’s tire blows out in a rainstorm. The two make their way to an old castle to find a telephone and are greeted by Riff Raff, the butler (Mae Harrington, MCAS ‘24), his sister Magenta (Itula), and one of the Transylvanian groupies, Columbia (Catherine Marra, MCAS ’22). 

It soon becomes apparent that Brad and Janet have entered an abnormal castle, as the Translyvanians perform “Time Warp,” the show’s signature number. As Brad and Janet try to escape, Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter (Tristan Horan, BC ’21) arrives, introducing himself in “Sweet Transvestite.”

His entrance is only the beginning of a night of mayhem in the pursuit of pleasure, including his creation of the perfect man, Rocky Horror (Grant Whitney, MCAS ’22). The narrator (Lucy Xiao, MCAS ’24) led the audience through the show as the action unfolded.

The Rocky Horror Show featured impressive performances by every member of the cast, showcasing students’ acting and singing talents. Biagi and Baker brought the characters of Brad and Janet to life as their voices complemented each other, and they played off of one another onstage through natural-sounding dialogue. 

Biagi’s vocal skill was evident in the song “Once in a While,” which culminated in a high note that captivated the audience. Baker brought to life the evolution of Janet, particularly in her turn to pleasure in “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me.” 

Horan’s rendition of Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter showcased his comedic skill and excellent embodiment of the character. His timing in delivering lines and his facial expressions brought the eccentric Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter to life, and his acting truly made the audience members feel as if they were in the presence of a mad scientist.

“Time Warp” demonstrated the entire cast’s vocal and dance abilities, particularly those of the eight ensemble members, through the song’s exciting and energetic choreography, playful lyrics, and group harmonies. Marra’s dance expertise came through in her tap dancing solo, which excited the audience and the actors alike, bringing high energy to the famous track.

Harrington and Itula’s chemistry as the brother-and-sister duo of Riff Raff and Magenta also enlivened the performance, as the duo, paired with Marra’s Columbia and Horan’s Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter, formed the core of the Transylvanian craziness. 

Another standout song was “Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul,” featuring the zombie-like delivery boy Eddie (Kitz). This number exuded pure fun—the energy onstage along with the raucous partying and dancing of the Transylvanians captured the humor and absurdity of the entire show. 

The narrator delivered haunting final lines in the final moments of the show. 

“And crawling on the planet’s face, insects called the human race, lost in time, and lost in space—and meaning,” Xiao, as the narrator, said. 

The actors left the audience with this tale of a life of pleasure and a warning of insignificance, leaving it up to every person at the show to choose whether that was the life to follow. The audience had a taste of the life of pleasure watching The Rocky Horror Show, evidenced by the audience’s standing ovation at the end of the performance. 

May 1, 2022