Rocky Horror – TheaterMirror Review

“The Rocky Horror Show”
Reviewed by Derek J. McClellan for

Presented to raise money for the Aids Action Committee
Directed by James P. Byrne
Musical Direction by Mick Maldonado

On Wednesday October 1st I caught the preview performance of The Boston Rock Opera’s production of The Rocky Horror Show. (Note: it doesn’t say “Picture Show” because they wish to discern it from the film,) However the night I saw the work, it seemed an awful lot like the film.

Since it seemed an awful lot like the film one is left to ponder the relevance of the piece. It seems to be about crossdressing, murder, and rock and roll. All three (depending on your generation) are considered dubious, immoral, or illegal. However this spectacle makes it all out to be good fun.

I was never into the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I did manage to attend the film about twenty times during the mid-to late eighties. One thing about the work, and the Boston Rock Opera’s production, is that it reminded me how good the music was. These are good, rockin’, catchy tunes, and everyone, both musician and singer alike did a capital job with the task.

The production is also very sexy (a good thing), right from the get go we were given a bit of a warning from Special Guest M.C. Ginger Vitus ( A rather outrageous drag queen) who implored us not to throw rice, water or toast onto the actors and to keep the “responses” in between lines. Not bad advice. Who knows what may happen on subsequent nights, but during this performance there were pockets of people who were “determined” to relive the Rocky Horror they knew, with all the memorized dirty interjections they could yell out. The company handled this quite well, one even wonders if they rehearsed in preparation for such the inevitable banter.

I suppose we could romanticize about the original London Production, but there really is no way to bring that back, the phenomenon of the film audience participation experience is what has kept this work alive. And for better or for worse (probably the worse), it shouldn’t be stifled. (except of course the projectiles, which may distract the talent)

copyright 1997 by Derek J. McClellan