It’s Time Warp time again
Dammit Janet, let’s do the Time Warp again.
The Rocky Horrow Show opens Friday during a full moon, which is good, and continues next weekend during Halloween, which is better.
The Vail Valley Theater Company’s 10-member board was batting around lots of options for its fall production.
“‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘The King and I’ were both suggested, but we decided to go highbrow with Rocky Horror,” said Bart Garton, who plays Rocky Horror.
The timing was right. The end of October is a good time for local actors. The venue, the old Battle Mountain High School building in Eagle-Vail, is scary/funny/strange and is perfect for a play with those attributes.
“Halloween is a little on the scary side, and the old Battle Mountain High School is certainly on the scary side,” Garton said.
It’s time for your “Bluff-Your-Way-in-the-Classics” class, although calling the Rocky Horror Picture Show a classic is the same sort of stretch as calling Nancy Pelosi a statesman – speaking of horror shows.
The Rocky Horror Show is a long-running British horror/comedy stage musical. It debuted in London on June 19, 1973. It was written byRichard O’Brien, and developed by O’Brien in collaboration with Australian theater director Jim Sharman.
Because the Brits have a delightful sense of irony, it finished eighth in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the “Nation’s Number One Essential Musicals.”
Actor Tim Curry played Dr. Frank-N-Furter on both stage and screen. Lance Schober is everything you want Frank to be in the local production.
Frank-N-Furter is a mad scientist who looks fabulous in heels and stockings, and creates the perfect man, Rocky Horror.
It should be pointed out that Frank-N-Furter built Rocky the Perfect Man with half a brain, which means whatever you want it to mean. Rocky’s job is to ease Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s frustration and stress – if you know what we mean and we think you do.
Garton plays Rocky. Garton has lots to say about the play, its cast and crew and what a great time they’re having. Of course, Rocky doesn’t have all that much to say during the play.
“I was cast as Rocky because I’m gifted with stupid facial expressions,” Garton said.
As for the plot, well … The Rocky Horror Picture Show has one. All you really need to know is that no one else knows how to dance the Time Warp, either. They’ll show you and you’ll do fine.
Garton has been writing in the Daily about their progress for the past few weeks.
“People seem excited about it. They’re saying, ‘I’m coming, What do I wear?'” Garton said.
You get bonus points for dressing like some of the characters, and some characters are worth more points than others.
Some women have committed to wearing fishnet stockings and corsets, but so far no guys appear willing to invoke the spirit of Frank-N-Furter.
There’s a counter script so you’ll know when to shout stuff that only makes sense in the context of the Rocky Horror Show.
Before the show they’ll be selling goodie bags containing things like confetti, toast and spray bottles along with instructions so you’ll look like you know what you’re doing, and in show business it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you show it to people that makes all the difference.
“There’s a lot of shouting things out during the performance and that’ll be new, at least for us,” Garton said.
Actually, audiences have been shouting counterscript lines since 1973. Some are wonderfully unprintable.
The crew can rehearse, and they are, but they cannot anticipate what audience members might holler, or when.
“We have no way of knowing. That’ll be another interesting part of the whole show,” Garton said.
The director is Brian Bell from Denver. He’ll be on stage as one of the phantoms.
“He has a good overall picture for what this play should look like,” Garton said. “He’s concerned with the pacing, the visual aspect, the sound, all the choreography. He has it all wrapped it up in one package.”
Bell is pretty even-tempered for a theater type.
“He’s not one of these guys who loses it,” Garton said. “He says things like, ‘We’re not there yet, but we’ll make it.'”
Kaylee Brennand is back, stage managing the production. She built the huge set and has taken charge of getting all the props. There are zillions of props, but miracles are her specialty.
And she supplied her husband as the lead guitarist for the pit band, and you cannot love the theater more than that.
During performances, the audience has been encouraged to join in with the performance. Items most commonly taken are:
• Toast – Thrown during the dinner scene.
• Bounty Bars – Thrown on the line with “Paradise” in it
• Newspaper – When Janet covers her head with one in the rain.
• Rubber Gloves – To be snapped in time with Frank N. Furter during the creation scene.
• Kit Kats – Thrown on the line “You get a break”
• Rice – Thrown during the wedding scene at the start
• Party Poppers, Hat, Blower – Used during the dinner/happy birthday scene and the creation scene.
• Water pistols – Used to help simulate the storm in which Brad and Janet are caught.
• Flashlights – Used to light up the room during the “there’s a light” verse of “Over at the Frankenstein Place.”
• Toilet Paper – Thrown upon Doctor Scott’s entrance when Brad exclaims “Great Scott!”
• Confetti – Thrown onstage at the end of the “Charles Atlas Song” Reprise.
• Playing Cards – Thrown during the line “cards for sorrow, cards for pain.”
In recent years, this has been discouraged by sissified theater manager whining about safety implications of debris and water on the stage. These theaters are peopled by the humor-impaired who will not be allowed entrance to Eagle-Vail this weekend or next. So there.
Bart Garton (Rocky Horror)
Charis Patterson (Janet)
Robert Wagner (Brad)
Connie Kincaid (Columbia)
Lance Schober (Frank-N-Furter)