This October, the talented cast of The Island Theater warp right onto the stage and into the minds of the patrons. Directed by Breanna Shuman and Kayla O’Connor, the production does not miss a beat as it draws the audience further and further into the science fiction story widely known as the Rocky Horror Show! The audience is encouraged to dress up and either buy a bag of props or bring your own (see approved prop list below).
Usherette/Magenta (Caitlin Charrier) opens the show with “Science Fiction/Double Feature” as she sets the mood for the entrance of Brad (Daniel Blair) and Janet (Samantha Eigenmann). Blair and Eigenmann have great on-stage chemistry as they romantically perform the duet “Dammit ,Janet!”. Here is the first chance to participate by throwing confetti or rice on the stage. Followed by the duet “Over at the Frankenstein Place” while the phantoms hilariously provide back-up vocals whiling popping out from the curtains. Since the lovebirds are stranded they have no choice but to seek help from a nearby castle. Greeted by Riff Raff (Bobby Bickle) and Magenta, the couple senses that they may have made a mistake as explained by the Narrator (Elizabeth Stitt) in her perfectly eerie deadpan delivery. When Janet and Brad witness the castle’s inhabitants sing and dance “The Time Warp”, the shock that they feel is palpable.
Now is the time to brace yourself because you will be introduced to the star of the show, Frank ‘N’ Furter, expertly performed by Nikloas Wendorf. I strongly believe that his performance rivals the iconic Tim Curry’s performance in the 1975 motion picture version. My jaw actually dropped as Wendorf belted out the tune “Sweet Transvestite” which only was the beginning of his extremely entertaining portrayal of Frank. As Frank reveals his creation, the audience gets another chance to participate by snapping their gloves. The big reveal is the laboratory birth of the ‘perfect’ man, Rocky, played by Chase Lawless who kills it as he flexes his muscles and gazes longingly into his cast-mates eyes when he interacts with them in “The Sword of Damocles”. Once again, the audience is treated with Wendorf’s outstanding vocal performance in “I Can Make You a Man”. Another one of my favorite Island Theater actors bursts onto stage as Eddie (Josh Katzman) singing “Hot Patootie”. Act I comes to a close with the reprise of “I Can Make You a Man”.
During the intermission I had a palm hitting forehead moment when I realized that I should have dressed up for the show. Two audience members were pulled onto stage to compete in a contest for best costume. Therefore, I highly recommend that you attend this limited run in costume with props in hand. The show itself is over the top fun but audience participation brings it to the next level.
Act II really delivers as the pansexual sweet transvestite separately seduces the newly engaged couple explaining to them that pleasure is no crime in his exquisitely seductive voice. Even though Janet thoroughly enjoyed her time with Frank, she is mortified when she witnesses Frank with Brad and runs into the arms of Rocky while crooning “Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me”. The newly sensually awakened Brad becomes upset when he sees that as been intimate with Rocky and expresses his feelings in “Once in Awhile”. Meanwhile the audience is throwing toilet paper rolls onto the stage and one gets caught in the rafters. Riff Raff slowly releases the paper from its captor while amusingly scolding the audience for the infraction. Josh Katzman storms the stage again as Dr. Scott. When Frank learns that Brad is associated with Dr. Scott, he accuses them of investigating the castle for the FBI. Dr. Scott reveals, with the support of the full cast, that he is actually searching for his nephew Eddie in “Eddie’s Teddy”. Having seen too much Janet, Brad, Dr. Scott, and Rocky are frozen to the floor by Frank as the crew sings “Planet Schmanet Wise Up Janet Weiss”.
Frank announces that they are all aliens who have deviated from their original mission to explore the delights of earthlings. Magenta declares that it is time to go home but Frank insists on putting on a floor show instead. While still under the control of Frank, Rocky, Brad, and Janet join Columbia on stage in bustiers and garters to perform in the floor show. Frank pleas his case with Riff Raff and Magenta in “I’m Going Home” to no avail since they have had quite enough of Frank’s shenanigans and desire to return to their planet where they can Time Warp Again. Releasing Janet, Brad, and Dr. Scott, Riff Raff and Magenta depart leaving Janet and Brad to ponder about their evening in “Super Heroes”. Delightfully the Usherette returns to recap the events and wrap up the production with “Science Fiction/Double Feature (reprise)”.
Bravo, bravo, bravo! I cannot express how thankful that I am to see classic performed on the stage of The Island Theater. Led by the amazing Nikloas Wendorf, every cast member shined on the stage. Bobby Bickles, once again, displayed his impeccable acting skills while proving that he has the style to expand his range with every performance. Daniel Blair and Samantha Eigenmann blossomed and grew in each scene transforming from innocence to not so innocence with breathtaking ease. Chase Lawless is the perfect man for the role of Rocky and was a pure delight to watch. I could sense the passion that Josh Katzman has for acting in both of his scenes as he throws his entire being into his roles. Breanna Shuman and Caitlin Charrier also shined as they executed their on-stage and behind the scenes capabilities as music director, choreographer, set design, and costume design. Last but certainly not least, the narrators/phantoms Elizabeth Stitt, Kayla O’Connor, and Sophia Sedlak provided the crazy glue that held the whole production together with their amusing contributions. Thank you all for making it a night to remember.
Please join the cast and crew for one of their remaining shows. I promise that you won’t regret and I won’t tell if you won’t! Don’t forget to purchase or bring your own props as audience participation is key to boosting the strong talent of these thespians to higher and higher heights. For a complete list of audience participation guidelines and future productions, please visit www.theislandtheater.com.