KANSAS CITY MISSOURI OCTOBER 2004
In October of 2004 I had the great pleasure of working on the production team of The Minds Eye Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. I worked as the show designer helping to coordinate all of the design folks into a unified theme, and designed the concept behind much of the set. I also helped built a great deal of the set. I really don’t know how to write a proper review of a show that I worked on in this capacity so I will just hit some of the highlights and important people.
First and foremost I have to say this show’s visual strength came from the amazing scenic painting of Charles Moore. His work is truly beautiful and the gargoyles he painted in the castle were breathtaking. Basically we started with a skeleton of the set taken from the group’s 2002 production. That set was expertly designed by Cynthia Evans. Starting with a great foundation we built on that to make it over the top. The set contained a two story castle, a laboratory, groovy bedroom for Frank with padded walls. The Narrator’s stoop was decorated with stacks of old books and flicker candles. The elevator has blood red upholstered steps, and much, much more.
As beautiful as the set was, it was fiercely rivaled by the amazing costumes and make up design. Andy Chambers is THE make up artist in Kansas City. His edgy and contemporary designs made our diverse and beautiful cast look amazing. Andy has an eye for color and flair for design that no one else in Kansas City can compete with. We were very lucky to have him on the design team and his no nonsense, straightforward personality is always a pleasure to work with. The cape for Frank was fashioned after the one worn by Tom Hewitt in the new Broadway revival. Each of Frank’s corsets were made by Andy. His designs for Riff and Magenta were truly inspiring. But the way he attacked costuming the Phantoms amazed me. The group of people was huge and the results were beautiful.
I think the next contributing factor to the success of the show was the amazing cast. I can’t begin to name all of the Phantoms, but their passion and hard work showed every single performance. The backing vocals and choreography were both amazing thanks to Jim Lewis and Sara Crow respectively. As far as the principal cast, there was not a weak link. Aaron Tracy is the best Frank N. Furter Kansas City has seen. Matt MacGaugh and Nina Murphy had perfect chemistry as Riff and Magenta. The beautiful, talented, and incredibly kind Karen Jones played Janet like no one else could. Jered Solace, Cyndi Price, Ray Zarr, Julie Stehle, Vick , Craig Aikman all amazing singers, dancers, and actors. The quality of the actors was comparable to professional theatre, there was nothing amateur about this.
Through the dedication of everyone involved in this show I can honestly say it was not only one of the best productions of Rocky Horror I have seen, technically it was one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen.