Biddeford's City Theater presents "The Rocky Horror Show"
Producer/Director Linda Sturdivant once again brings a stellar production, "The Rocky Horror Show," (a cult classic since the 1970s) to life this summer at Biddeford City Theater.
She demonstrates masterful direction, ably assisted by Alyssa Forcier, and Maestro Patrick Martin /musical director, and talented choreographer, Mariel Roy. What a dream team! I laughed, I cried, it was better than___!
A humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through to the early 1960s, the musical tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad scientist and cross dresser, Dr Frank-N-Furter, unveiling his new creation, in the form of an artificially made, fully grown, physically perfect muscle man named Rocky.
The original London production of the musical premiered at the Royal Court Theatre. Sturdivant’s faithful multitalented production team: Technical Director CJ Payne Stage Manager Greg Brackett Set Design CJ Payne Master Carpenter Graves Bates Scenic Painting Alysa Ballou, Jessica Chaples Graffam Light Design Florence Cooley Sound Design Todd Hutchisen Costumer Darnell Stuart Wigs Brie Roche Make-up Karleena Stoner Costume Assistant Janice Toomey Dresser Vasiliki Katsipodi Props Peter Salsbury Sound Board Op Matt Eaton Light Board Op Avery Rose Follow Spot Emily Brown Rehearsal Assistant Kathleen Rendich Graphic Design Jessica Thibodeau Publicity Photos Rich Obrey, create a perfect rendition of this outlandishly wild show.
We are drawn right in by the great pipes/talent of KeYana Reid as an adorable usherette in candy pink, with an adorable, matching cotton candy pink tray of goodies. Reid is just terrific as she belts the opening number setting up the show. She also shines as one of the Transylvanians - the “Greek Chorus “ of mega talents: Jane Clifford, Sean Farrelly, Taylor Gervais, Christina Gove, Brian Philip Harris, Sophia Hines, KeYana Reid, Tori Stackpole, Ann Williams. This delightful collection of characters, masterfully costumed, are the glue that holds this show together. A standing O for each one of them!
We next meet the adorable saccharine sweet couple Brad and Janet/ Brie Roche and Zimra Winters. Roche never fails to deliver in any role. A city theater favorite, she continues to bring her best acting chops, and fabulous pipes to this role as well. Sturdivant found a winner in newcomer Winters who captivates the audience with his baby face charm and talent. The energetic spot on portrayal made by these two makes the show!
Caleb Lacy brings the story along as the quintessential narrator! Another multi- talented favorite at City Theater he too, never fails to deliver. He handles the “call backs” (those of you RHS groupies know just what I mean!) with aplomb and a rubber face of great expressions. This reviewer completely lost it near the end of the show when Lacy is swept into an emotional song Once In A While; talk about camping it up and chewing scenery.
Schuyler White / Riff Raff delivers an outstanding portrayal of the “Igor-like”character. There are simply not enough superlatives to describe this talented man’s amazing acting chops or magnificent voice. Yesssssss….. he is ssssimply the very besssssssst! He was the favorite for this reviewer, although that in no way diminishes the terrific talents of the entire cast. The costume change for he and Magenta at the end will tickle your funny bone. You will love him in this role. Bravo! Standing O!
Next arrive the two “sex kittens;” the multitalented and stunning Briana Chu and Joanna Clark. Both of these stars are also City Theater favorites and once again deliver the goods. Chu shines as the “groupie” Columbia demonstrating her “0-60" emotions flawlessly, her gorgeous dancing ability, and maneuvers a lollypop with style. Chu never fails her audiences and gives her all on the stage.
Clark is also stellar in her portrayal as Magenta (Riff-Raff’s sister) with her countless facial expressions and great delivery! One cannot help but be swept up in her enthusiastic performance. She is another “triple threat” who never fails to be an audience favorite.
I am sure you are waiting with great antici……..PATION to hear about the fabulous Frank’n Furter brought to life perfectly by the mega talented Derek Kingsley. JUST WOW! The look, the portrayal, the moves, the pipes, the acting chops, it is all there in this talented man. He is truly “a sweet transvestite from transexual Transylvania!” Recently returned to his New England roots after a stint on “the left coast” he brings his ‘A game’ to this role. I am sure he will continue to be an audience favorite and hope he stays in our region to share his many talents.
The perfect man you say? He certainly is perfectly adorable with his megawatt smile; Bo Harris is Rocky, Frank’n Furter’s creation. This City Theater newcomer shines in his role as he is made into a man. In only his gold lame shorts he steals the scene with his beautific looks and great talent. You will fall in love with this young star!
Rounding out this delightful cast are Brian McAloon and Taylor Gervais. Taylor portrays the previous Frank'n Furter creation, Eddy, and knocks and Elvis like number out of the park until he is chased off stage and... well you have to see the show to find out! Then arrives McAloon as Dr. Scott, and invalid professor (whom Brad and Janet were trying to visit)and Eddy's uncle. Brian, always on, delivers a great German accent, and then joins in the fun with his previously hidden costume. Both of these gents are terrific additions to the show!
And let’s hear it for the band!! This fabulous score is not possible without the many talented musicians: Patrick Martin - Piano/Conductor, Rachel Scala - Synthesizer, Tim Fulwider - Guitar, Joshua Witham - Saxophone, (Ray Libby 7/30 and 8/6) , Jimmy McGirr - Bass , and Joshua Adams - Drums.
Whether you are a Rocky Horror “groupie” or newbie head straight to Biddeford City Theater post haste to see this outstanding production. "The Rocky Horror Show" presented by City Theater Associates runs July 22 to Aug. 7. Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.citytheater.org/buy-tickets/ .
Story courtesy of Nancy Durgin