Houston Texas October 2011
Ok so this is the production I was expecting to dislike and I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I hear that a show is in a bar I expect the production quality to be low. I expect little to nothing in the way of sets. I expect it to be one of those “my uncle has a barn” kinda shows where everyone throws in their contribution and sorta-kinda makes a show. Well that wasn’t what this show was.
This show was a very well put together production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show that just happened to be in a club. Costumes and props were all straight out of the 80s. The set was comprised of a basic stage with a table and a LED screen backdrop. The actors did a fantastic job. There are shows that as you watch them you can just tell that the actor is adding another character to their resume. These actors genuinely cared about their characters. They played their roles with honesty, respect, and they had a great time doing it.
Riff-Raff, played by Wendy Taylor, had an AMAZING voice. She belted out every note beautifully. Dr. Frank N. Furter, played by Tye Blu, had an equally strong voice. His version of I’m Going Home is one of my all-time favorites. He made some really interesting choices with the melody and changed the song completely. I loved every second of it. Janet was not only a great singer but she was also hysterical. Her valley girl take on the character was great. Every time she offered someone a Tic-Tac I nearly died. The performance we saw seemed to have a drag queen filling in for the person who would normally play the Narrator. She read directly from a script and had me laughing throughout the show. I especially enjoyed her pronunciation of “What further indignities…” I’m glad we got to see the show she was filling in for. Also with such a small space Phantoms were not really an option so the backing vocals were provided by members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston.
My favorite part of any production is the little bits added by the director to give their own flavor to the show. This show had a few of those moments and I think they were very original. I loved during the take-over scene when Riff Raff was busting gang signs. Likewise I loved when the actors went into slow motion for the death scene. When Frank threw the Nerf bullets back at Riff I nearly died. I also loved Dr. Scott’s entrance. As he was wheeled to the stage he flew out of his chair. This is exactly the kind of inappropriate humor that makes Rocky Horror what it is, a reflection and parody of society.
This was a little production with a huge heart. And I have to admit it won me over completely. The cast and crew were so incredibly nice. If they do the show again next year I may just have to make the road trip again.