BWW Reviews: Playhouse Does a ‘Time Warp’ Again
February 1, 2015 - garden totes
It’s an engaging and unintended coincidence: PETER PAN, that wrapped adult Playhouse on a Square’s Holiday Season, offering a younger set a initial ambience of transvestism, with musically means actresses swapping in a purpose of “Peter” (talk about a inception of gender confusion); now, as a New Year has begun, a comparison set has its exposure with Jim Sharman and Richard O”Brien’s THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. This isn’t a initial time Playhouse has authorised a expel and organisation to indulge themselves in fishnet hose and makeup; we can remember prior performances of this guilty pleasure with a conspicuous Mark Chambers (anyone who ever saw him “strut his stuff” is not expected to forget his opening – “boomers” who “time warped” in a aisles still speak about it). we suppose that everybody concerned in this prolongation dived headfirst into their dress equipment with all a silly fervour of children glamming it adult during Halloween.
Certainly, ROCKY is a materialisation unto itself. Reviewing it will be as about as useful as reviewing Theatre Memphis’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. ROCKY has a built-in appeal. People are possibly going to accumulate their umbrellas and toast and enter “the spirit” of a record – or they will hurl their eyes and find tamer entertainment. However, brave we contend it? There’s a strain in PETER PAN – “I Won’t Grow Up!” – that, alas, still speaks to my middle suggestion – despite, as Mark Twain put it in THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, my “premature balditude” and encroaching giggle lines.
I doubt if anyone reading this examination needs an overview of a plot, that pays loyalty to many of those awful black and white sci-fi films of a 50’s and 60’s. The infancy of those in a assembly can already mumble a dialogue. However, as we sat grinning during a disagreeable record unwinding on stage, we couldn’t assistance meditative . . . “Brad” and “Janet” are like a guiltless “Adam” and “Eve.” However, in this twisted, transsexual “garden,” a “creator” is “Dr. Frank N. Furter” – and he is also a decorous and coital serpent, obliged for deflowering both innocents.
There’s always a fun of O’Brien’s references to a likes of British singer Janette Scott and beauty-marked American star Anne Francis, both stars of classical horror/science novella films of a 50’s and 60’s. (Miss Francis already has a kind of “camp” immortality with a investigator array HONEY WEST, a real “guilty pleasure.) There is, too, a projected exegesis along a lines of that in an aged Ed Wood film (think Bela Lugosi in GLEN OR GLENDA). (Along with a Narrator of INTO THE WOODS, this is one of my favorite conceptions in musicals.) The great, good happening here is a casting of Bill Andrews, master of a snobbish snarl or a lewd smirk (depending on a moment); his deliciously developed reading lends a Narrator a kind of weight that good interweaves a proceedings.
At a core of all this is “Dr. Frank N. Furter” himself, embodied on this arise by a prodigiously means Jerre Dye. He is so entertaining, we am assured that he could even give one of those Public Television “in concert” performances – abandoned of make-up and costumes — and prompt a station ovation. He is a estimable inheritor to a aforementioned Mr. Chambers and can strut and preen with a best of insane scientists. As a virgins shortly to be dismantled amid a gyrations, a bespectacled Jordan Nichols (a LOT some-more fun than his submissive “Marius” in LES MIS) and Sandra Dee-ish Leah Beth Bolton are, initially, scrupulously priggish; examination their dignified “regress” is done even some-more savoury by their behaving and low-pitched talents.
All of a delegate characters are delightfully decadent – Devin Altizer’s ghoulish “Riff Raff,” Morgan Howard’s “Magenta” (I adore Ms. Howard in roles like this – she was miraculous in an progressing prolongation of REEFER MADNESS), Katie Hahn’s tippy-tapping “Columbia,” and Marek Zurowski’s indian “Rocky” (that sculpted physique creates Michelangelo’s “David”appear in need of a workout). Furthermore, wheeled in during a second half of a play, there is that miraculous theatre stealer Jonathan Christian as a bleak “Dr. Scott” (his fishnet hose cuddle legs that would lift a eyebrows of a Betty Grable).
Director Scott Ferguson knows how to welcome and theatre this material, and some of a touches are crafty “in jokes” (watch for a blast that demolishes a informed edifice as a space boat takes off). He is aided in no tiny partial by a disfigured terpsichore of Jordan Nichols and Travis Bradley, who are operative with some of a many informed and gifted dancers in Memphis.
Interestingly, ROCKY’s once intolerable antics have, over a years, turn some-more sweetly sentimental – not scarcely as descent to some as, say, a “tote that barge, lift that bail” stereotyping in SHOWBOAT. Audiences who desert themselves to it will have a pleasant time. Amanda Wansa Morgan destined and organised a spreading song and vocals, and a smart costumes were recognised by Caleb Blackwell. Through Feb 15.