The Rocky Horror Show
It's amazing how popular this drag version of Babes in the Woods remains 35 years after its debut. And the stage version isn't exactly the film; it lacks the water gun and toast silliness some of us expect. Director Earl Weaver's UCF Mainstage production is true to the stage version; it's well-designed, beautifully choreographed and largely deserved the ovation it got on opening night (March 29).
For the 2.3 percent of the general public unfamiliar with the show, young Republicans Brad (Robert Stack) and Janet (Andrea Dunn) stumble into the bizarre world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Spencer Morrow), an alien secret agent from the Planet Transsexual in the Galaxy of Transylvania. His mission is "Take over the Earth," and his strategy is "Seduce them one at a time." Both Brad and Janet fall to his skanky charms, with Janet finding new release as a sexual being and Brad begging, "Mommy ... take this dream away." After a few rounds of protected sex, Dr. Scott (Sara Barnes) appears and the aliens flee, leaving a few earthlings infected with a desire to wear fishnet stockings and depilate.
Besides the outstanding production design, a few nice touches were added — the narrator (Amanda Wansa) gets a pair of twinks, "S" and "M," to help her out, and Rocky's (Steven Gatewood) big number feels like the finale to Jesus Christ Superstar. On the darker side, Riff Raff (Justin Sargent) and Magenta (Emily Mara) adopt annoying monkey laughs, and Frank-N-Furter sounds a half-beat off from time to time. Still, if you've not seen the film, this show will open your eyes, and you can actually hear the words. (this week: 8 p.m. Thursday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 11; then 8 p.m. April 12-14, 2 p.m. April 15 and 10:30 p.m. April 13-14 at UCF Mainstage Theatre, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, University of Central Florida; $15; 407-823-1500; www.news.ucf.edu)
— Al Pergande
Further proving the insatiable appetite for Rocky, come the second and fourth Friday of the month, the Rich Weirdoes shadow cast gathers along with its faithful for another interactive screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the movie theater at CityWalk. But the group is deviating from its usual schedule to present "A Night at the Hunting Lodge," a special one-night fund-raising performance this weekend. Weirdo stuff that's taken place by inspiration or accident over the many preshows was the starting point for the off-off-beat program of music, dance and comedy, added to the fleshing out of projects only dreamed about in manic moments.
"Delicate, delicious and devious" is what's promised on the website, so there's no telling what the Rich will pull out of their … time-warped minds. And giving us more insight into his character, local musician Marc With a C throws in a few numbers. Money raised goes back to the performance group so the insanity can continue in the form of Little Shop of Horrors, coming this summer. It's a good idea to purchase tickets online, as they could be sold out at the door. (11:30 p.m. Friday at Lowes Universal Cineplex 20 at CityWalk, Universal Orlando; $9-$10; www.richweirdoes.com/lodge)
— Lindy T. Shepherd
Menopause the Musical
It may just be the longest menopause in the history of womankind but it's coming to an end — at least in Orlando. Menopause the Musical, created by local arts entrepreneur Jeanie Linders, is calling it quits May 6 after a six-year run in town. Meanwhile, the homage to The Change just opened in London, Israel and South Africa and is "the hottest ticket in Las Vegas," according to the show's spokesperson. The totals are up to "9 million fans in more than 100 cities and 10 countries." The Orlando cast moves on to Tampa once the show closes here. But, truth is, if the cries of withdrawal are strong enough in Orlando, Linders and company could be convinced to start up another run. (2 p.m. Tuesday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 2 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, through May 6 at the Plaza Theatre; $36; 407-228-1220; www.menopausethemusical.com)