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TBT doing 'Rocky Horror Show'

October 17, 2011
By DIANE SPEER - News Lifestyles Editor , The Alpena News

Thunder Bay Theatre is pulling out all the stops with the cult classic, "Rocky Horror Show." This long-running British horror comedy and rock musical written by Richard O'Brien first opened in London in 1973. Two years later, it was adapted into the film, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," where it gained full cult status, particularly on college campuses around the country.

TBT's production debuts Thursday and continues for a two-week run that features a couple of special draws, including an audience costume contest for this Friday's showing and a midnight performance on Oct. 29, the final night of the production.

In keeping with tradition surrounding this rowdy, campy tale, audience participation will be highly encouraged. Theatre goers will have the option of purchasing small or large-size goodie bags containing items to toss at the cast while the show is ongoing. The audience also is more than welcome to shout out familiar lines during performances.

Article Photos

News Photo by Diane Speer
Suni Travis, Mac Fountain and Nickie Hilton camp it up for Thunder Bay Theatre’s upcoming production of “Rocky Horror Show.”

"The goodie bags will contain things required for audience participation," said actress Nickie Hilton, who stars in the show as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.

Hilton is thrilled to being doing the show.

"I was 12-years-old when I first watched the movie at a friend's house," she said. "I've wanted to do it for 19 years. I never thought I'd get to play the part that I am because it's usually played by a man."

The story, which will be narrated by Dick Bremer, tells the tale of young innocents Brad and Janet (Mac Fountain and Kelly Bernau) who stumble upon the castle of the mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and witness the debut of his latest creation, a Frankenstein-like creature called Rocky (Kendra McInerney). The two youngsters get thoroughly debauched by the scientist and his minions during a stormy night.

Besides Hilton playing the usually male role of the transvestite scientist, TBT newcomer Suni Travis is playing handyman Riff Raff, another normally male actor. The gender bending continues with Derek Spack cast in the more traditional female role of Magenta, the maid and Riff Raff's sister.

"It was a creative decision on the part of J.R. (Artistic Director J.R. Rodriguez) that absolutely works," Hilton said. "It's a show about transsexual transvestites so it absolutely works."

Others featured in the cast are Terry Carlson as Dr. Scott, Andrew Bernau as Columbia and Carol Rundell in the famous Meatloaf role of the motorcycle riding Eddie. Playing phantoms are Zach Clement, Pam Powell, JoLee Greer, Amanda Teehan and Hannah Stevens.

Rock music is an essential element of the show, including with the most recognized dance number, "The Time Warp." TBT has enlisted a five-piece band to provide the music for "Rocky Horror Show," while choreography was done by Rodriguez with the exception of "Time Warp," which was choreographed by Hilton and Spack.

Other production team members are Hilton as props mistress, Spack as technical director, McInerney as costumer and Clement as stage manager.

TBT is calling the show PG-13, with no one under 13 admitted. Those ranging in age from 13 to 18 are permitted to attend only with parental permission.

"This show is what it is if anyone is offended by it," Hilton said. "We're not going to tone it down because it would stifle the creative intent. It's a rock 'n' roll musical. People need to let their guard down cause it's going to be in your face."

According to Rodriguez, an unexpected donation by Bolenz Jewelry has helped with expenses of mounting the show as have donations from Trina Gray, Jon Benson and Richard Schultz.

"These donations have basically made it 10 times easier for Derek with materials for the set for "Rocky Horror Show" and the next show, "Annie Warbucks," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez encourages everyone attending the Friday performance to dress like their favorite Rocky Horror character or in a Halloween costume. The person with the best costume will win a free punch card for the spring season of shows. He also hopes to see a sell-out crowd for the midnight performance on Oct. 29.

TBT's "Rocky Horror Show" runs Oct. 20-23 and Oct. 27-29. For reservations, call the box office at 354-2267.



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