Columbia, Missouri February 2001
The Rocky Horror Show was performed at the Warehouse Theatre of Stephen's College in Columbia Missouri from February 21st through the 24th. This performance was a fund-raiser for the theater. Although the sets and costumes were minimal on this production the performance did not suffer. In fact this production was quite original in presentation and even in some of the story's interpretation.
Being a fanatic I want to break the production down play by play but that would take about twelve pages so I will attempt to touch on the highlights. The story was very interesting. The Transylvanian's were moralists. Frank had gone astray by seducing Brad and Janet. When the overthrow occurs at the end Riff and Magenta explain that there will be other Transylvanian's to follow in the colonization of Earth and they will be sure to keep it pure and free of Frank's type of immoral activities. Their costumes for the coupe were somewhere between those of mourners and Mormons. They even carried a bible, which contained their laser.
Another twist was the production's use of video. Most unusual was the footage of historical racial conflict at the end. Frank and Columbia were African-American, this put an entirely different spin on things. Definitely one that made the audience think. The monitors were working video screens that the Criminologist scenes were shown on, as well as other footage that supported the plot. As Janet scrolled through channels to find Frank and Brad together the screen threw up images of business etc. This seemed to contain some local humor for the audience. The video was edited together in a very professional manner and was utilized as much as possible, even to show a Steve Reaves clip during "Sweet Transvestite" and to show some video footage that led to opening credits.
There were a few things I wasn't really crazy about. The dialogue was beefed up to explain a little more of the story line. For example when Brad and Janet enter the castle Riff introduces them to his sister Magenta and then kisses her. I think this takes away some of the humor that the audience finds when noticing the incestuous overtones later. Costuming was weak, I assume because this was a fundraiser they went for a minimal approach. I think this could have worked out well; however, floorshow needed to be a glamorous production number. The costumes for this did not match. Despite a less "glitzy" look this production made up in talent what it lacked in glamour.
During this production I found myself saying, "oh I get it" a lot. It was something different for the Rocky purist, and a fun taste of the cult participation for the uninitiated. A good time was had by all.