By Lonnie Huhman
The Dexter Community Players performance of The Rocky Horror Show took this neophyte and made him a believer that seeing a talented cast perform this story can make for a refreshing and fun night out.
Inside the Copeland Auditorium in Dexter, the cast and crew for the community players have lived up to the billing for the show. They take the audience on a ride in seeing and hearing sweethearts Brad and Janet go on their journey from innocence to decadence inside a castle with some strange residents.
The performance, with showings at 8 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 10, is funny, energetic and, yes, I said it, sexy.
As a person who has never seen the entire story through, I found it to be well worth a look for anyone wanting to see what it’s all about. As long you have an open mind and don’t mind feeling a little awkward at times. And for the person who wants to get in costume and say their favorite call back to the cast, the performance is a must see.
The warning that this show may not be suitable for children is also spot on, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact it might be required if the show is going to live up to its legend as a late night, cult following.
Going into the dress rehearsal performance, I only knew bits and pieces of the movie. However, I knew that it could be crude, lusty and raunchy. And any showing would want and demand the audience to participate.
Here’s the cast: Trixie is played by Abby Briggs, Janet by Laura Chodoroff; Brad by John Tramp; Narrator is Deric Prieskorn; Riff Raff by Joshua Smith; Columbia by Alexa Allen; Magenta by Kalli Allen; Frank N. Furter by Zachary James Morgan; Rocky by Hayden Reboulet; Eddie by Brandon Waldenmayer and Dr. Evelyn Scott by Julia Krohn.
The Phantoms are played by Tom Eakin, Melanie Lowie, Breanna Kempf, Rachel Elliot Golema, Diana Lamb, Adam Doletzky, Abby Briggs and Julia Krohn.
It’s directed by Barbara Danner with musical direction by Brandon Waldenmeyer.
The four-piece band helps bring the songs to life and did a great version of Journey’s “Don’t stop Believin’” during intermission. A full castle couldn’t be brought to life inside Copeland, but the set does set the mood and scene. The castle wall featuring huge red lips lets you know where you are at.
The cast sings, dances and brings the story to life.
This show’s storyline has straightlaced couple Brad and Janet having car trouble on the road and needing some help, and as they look for it they find a creepy castle with a group of characters inside that are led by Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad, lustful and self-centered scientist, who actually is an alien transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.
The couple soon discovers Furter succeeded in creating a living muscle man, named Rocky, in his laboratory. Meanwhile, Brad and Janet are in turn seduced by Furter, whose cohorts begin to question his leadership.
From the clothing, to the voice and the attitude, Zachary James Morgan is Furter on the Copeland stage. Dressed in a corset while wearing heals, Morgan is not shy about the role. In killing the Eddie character and using everyone as his sexual playthings, just to name a few of his big moments, Morgan struts around the stage working the crowd and cast with his mouth, moves and whip.
Chodoroff as Janet and John Tramp as Brad are also spot on. Chodorff goes from mousy cute to a liberated sexy woman wearing and dancing in her own corset. And Tramp plays the bespectacled Brad with a stiff uptightness that eventually changes into, well, him dancing and singing while also wearing a corset.
The rest of the cast is just as good, including Smith who looks, sounds and walks like Riff Raff and Reboulet, whose role requires him to wear very small shorts and nothing else except shoes while dancing and singing. He pulls it off.
Both Allens play their roles well. It was funny to see Magenta, Riff Raff’s sister, exiting the stage cackling with her brother. Alexa Allen’s Columbia can be both flirty and in love. Both help carry the show.
As narrator, Deric Prieskorn, dressed as Elvira, is funny and convincing as the mistress of the dark.
The cast’s fearlessness should be commended and they are worth checking out.
The show is at Copeland, 7714 Ann Arbor St. in Dexter, at 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Go to the Dexter Community Players website for more information and tickets.