What began as a fringe piece in the attic of a London theater somehow evolved over time to be an enduring musical sex comedy mocking puritanism, hypocrisy and the dreary world of bourgeois morality. Written by Richard O’Brien (in the 1970’s) The Rocky Horror Show somehow struck a nerve with counter-culture, challenging the heterocentrist paradigm, including a wedding between the rapacious, transgendered Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter and his dishy creation, “Rocky”. Currently playing at The Stellar Academy of Fine Arts (closing this weekend!) and directed by Ryan Mattheiu Smith, The Rocky Horror Show is an uproarious, giddy tribute to B-Movie Sci-Fi, a genre where bland, archetypical nuclear family values intersect with fantasy and camp.
Brad Majors and Janet Weiss are still glowing after attending a friend’s wedding and Janet’s acceptance of Brad’s proposal. Stuck with a flat tire, the two must wade through a deluge to seek help at a strange castle. There they are stunned and appalled to discover Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter and his perverse party guests on the occasion of unveiling his triumph over ignorance and mortality. Needless to say, Janet and Brad couldn’t feel worse if they’d been dropped into a live volcano. Or a jello wrestling match. Before the evening is over they will be tainted by the doctor’s raging, polyamorous appetites, and subsequent interpersonal dramas. How could they possibly have imagined their odyssey would take them to a place of interplanetary insanity and honey-thick hedonism?
Ryan Mattheiu Smith seems to ascribe to the Mae West School of Excess i.e. : “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” If there was ever a show that feels perfect for this approach, it’s certainly Rocky Horror, and while it works better sometimes than others, overall it’s an immensely pleasurable and juicy tumble with transgression and degeneracy. Smith certainly capitalizes on gender meltdown, using contradictory casting hither and yon. The entire cast seems energized by a playful mix of anger
and Dionysian abandon. The production is chock full of dishy, boy eyecandy and itchy, bitchy, hilarious “ladies.” Key players Steven Rob Pounds (Brad) Cherish Robinson (Janet) and Dustin Simington (Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter) have gobs of chutspah and moxie. Not only do they have intuitive stage presence but undeniable pipes. They sing with charisma and depth of emotion. The players know how to cut loose and invite us to the party. They break open the windows and welcome us to this opium den masquerading as a candy store.
Stellar Academy of Fine Arts presents The Rocky Horror Show, closing this weekend, October 30th, 2016. 3321 Premier Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (214) 531-4833. www.stellar.mu