Karter Louis as Dr. Frank ‘n’ Furter and Steven Fairfield as Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show.
Photo-Acting Against Cancer
The Rocky Horror Show
Music, Book and Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
Directed by Remy Sisk
Review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2014 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Here’s the thing about The Rocky Horror Show: it is a wild romp that catapulted a movie into a cult phenomena, one against which all others are measured. This show has everything, glam rock, kinky sexuality and even science fiction. Obviously, this show is not meant for squares.
Perhaps it was the magnitude of this epic musical or opening night jitters but the overall Acting Against Cancer production lacked a certain edge that would be expected. Frankly, I blame the audience members sitting in the front row who were yelling throughout the show. Yes, this is a tradition for the movie and welcomed there. Here, it was annoying and at times very distracting. Luckily, the cast rose above these distractions with grace.
As for the action onstage, Charlie Meredith, Sara Troxel and Karissa Kathryn make tremendous efforts to hit their marks as Riff Raff, Colombia and Magenta respectfully. Meredith clearly understands the spirit of the show as he buzzes around the stage with purple hair and steam punk goggles yet his performance leaves much to be desired as he sings in a nasal falsetto. I was surprised by this choice after his strong portrayal of Moritz in KAAC’s production of Spring Awakening. Sara Troxel displays nice tap dance skills as the giddy groupie, Colombia, while Kathryn’s Magenta hit great notes although she lacked the character’s rough and tough attitude.
“Science Fiction/Double Feature” gave way for a strong performance by Joanna Galvan and Bryn Gordon. Unfortunately it was preceded by a casual and clearly unrehearsed curtain speech which altered the feel of the sultry opening number. Historically, the usherettes are doubled with Magenta and Colombia, in this production they reappear throughout without any real reason or motivation and were at times distracting as well.
But all is not lost within Rocky Horror. Charlotte Campbell and Alex Haydon are delightful as virginal couple, Janet and Brad. Confused, scared and eventually entranced by their sexuality, Campbell and Haydon embody the spirit of the “two young, ordinary, healthy kids.” Campbell is strong in Janet’s sexual awakening number, “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a Touch Me”, while Haydon is sugary sweet in his heart broken ballad “Once in A While.” Liam O’Daniel-Munger played his Dr. Scott for laughs while providing homage to Dr. Strangelove as well displaying some nice fishnets.
Don’t think I’ve forgotten about the most important ingredient in Rocky Horror! Karter Louis plays Dr. Frank-n-Furter with zest, attitude, and magnificent shoes to match. Billed as the star of the show, his Frank is an achievement that the rest of the cast should attempt to match nightly. He provides the strongest moment of his performance with “I’m Going Home”, followed by a melodramatic death scene that is perfectly executed, with just the right amount of camp.
With glittery make up, corsets and camp, Acting Against Cancer has worked hard to create a show that lives up to the reputation of this cult classic, which deserves applause.
The Rocky Horror Show
September 26- October 5, 2014
Acting Against Cancer
at The Henry Clay Theater
604 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for Leo Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading!