THEATRE REVIEW: The Rocky Horror Show 

Sweet Tranny: Little City's Rocky is a hot patootie

It hit me like the short, sharp shock of Zen.

As I began writing this review, I realized that Little City Musical Theatre's The Rocky Horror Show totally — uncannily!— echoed my forthcoming book, Dr. Stagecraft — or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Start Making My Life a Hit Show: The Secret Stages of Personal Empowerment.

Right there in Chapter 19 ("Kabbalah and Self-Promotion") was Rocky's core principle — "In life, as in theater, you just can't go wrong with fishnet stockings."

So true!

And the synchronicities didn't end there. They piled up like mangled rail cars in a train wreck.

Flip my book to Chapter 47 ("The Rich, Creamy Nougat at the Center of All Things"), and discover that "Behind your back, people really are saying you're dull. CHANGE YOUR THINKING WARDROBE! Your THOUGHTS are the Promotional Street Team you send into the Universe. Dress them appropriately. For real change, don't send a Man(thought) or a Woman(thought) out to do a transvestite's job!"

I mean, wow! — The Rocky Horror Show is completely in sync with me.

Richard O'Brien, who created Rocky Horror in 1973, called it "a nice, trashy camp musical," that was "only supposed to run for five weeks and at the end of five weeks we would have exhausted our potential audience."

Not so. In various incarnations, the show's been running ever since.

Rocky Horror builds (like my book!) a cult following around a central mantra: "Don't dream it, be it." Little City's artfully produced, twisted-trash fairy tale is so much fun you forget how much you're learning.

You may find yourself like Rocky's Brad Majors (Randy Risher) and Janet Weiss (Tishala Martinal) — stranded with a flat tire on the lonely road of life, your only hope a creepy castle nearby.

A mere babe in the woods, you discover the castle is full of unsettling characters: Riff Raff (Jimmy Flannery), the hunchbacked majordomo; Magenta (Kain Cameron), the maid; and Columbia (Jan Gilbert), hopelessly devoted to the castle's master of ceremonies Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Ralph Prentice Daniel).

Let the lesson begin.

Staged at the Terrace Theatre, Rocky may be a little cramped for space but it's tight in all the right places. A solid on-stage band led by Robbi Kenney delivers the show's rock 'n' roll backbone. And the cast has a great time serving up a tall glass of naughty — like one of those cocktails whose prime reason for existence is to tug you out of your shell and make you request something vaguely pornographic.

Ralph Prentice Daniel's Dr. Frank is a delight — equal parts kooky and sympathetic, song after song. Martinal's Janet Weiss brims over with doe-eyed charm, and her sexual awakening scene with Rocky (Adam Johnston), literally hits all the right notes.

With all the song-and-dance wickedness on display (yes, we still love "Time Warp"), it would be easy to miss the emotional landscape this cast manages to cover. Randy Risher grabs the spotlight more than once. Kain Cameron's Magenta will put a smile on your face, too.

This is a great evening: comic, energetic, and saucy.

With both hands, and maybe a pelvic thrust, we grabbed our brief chance to see Little City's Rocky.

And we remembered that "you can't go wrong with fishnet stockings."


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