Rocky Horror Show Delights and Entices

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2008 at 1:36 am

Arcadia opened up this year’s theater schedule with a bang. The Rocky Horror Show was led by an impressive cast that delivered a play known for its raunchy comedy, taboo subject matter, and homo-erotic overtones. This cast did more than give it justice- they brought the characters to life in a musical that presents no small challenge to the actors.

The show was headlined by Sophomore Adam Darrow as the infamous Dr. Frankenfurter, senior Ernie Miles as the ghoulish Riff Raff, sophomore Laura Gould as Magenta, sophomore Beth Seybert as Columbia, and seniors Lauren Otis and Dustin Karrat as the young finances Janet Weiss and Brad  Majors that were unlucky (or maybe lucky) enough to stumble upon Frankenfurter’s castle. Arcadia alumni Charles Illingworth IV even returned for the Adonis role of Rocky.

The chemistry in this cast is prevalent throughout the show. The comedic timing is spot-on and  each actor really becomes their character. Adam Darrow, as Frankenfurter, was an excellent choice. His costume and movement during his songs gave the performance a burlesque show style that any good Rocky production should. Otis and Karrat hit their roles exceptionally well, with Karrat looking like a mix between Buddy Holly and the father from Fox’s American Dad. The most stand out performance, however, goes to Ernie Miles as Riff Raff. His body movement and facial expressions take on a life of their own throughout the show, often getting some of his best laughs when he isn’t even speaking. Ren Manley also did an excellent job with the makeup for both Frankenfurter and especially Riff Raff, whose facial expressions and features were a big part of the show’s success.

Narrator Hugh Henry Wyatt adds some great comedy as well with his stoic pose and dry humor that is a mixture of a college professor and James Lipton of Inside the Actors Studio (in a good way).

The singing numbers were some of the highlights of the show, which makes sense, this being a musical. The numbers “Damn it Janet” and “The Time Warp” were personal favorites from among the seventeen songs in the production. Lighting and sound was done well, but during many of the solo musical numbers the audience was left guessing at the lyrics. This reviewer was sitting in the back half of the theater, and at times it was very difficult to hear the otherwise excellent singing. Single voices were continually drowned out by the background music. Only Brad Major’s and Frankenfurter’s solos came through completely clear over the music. Despite this, the singing was excellent and when more than one voice was involved the acoustics were very good.

From the beginning to the end this show promises some great laughs. Characters got laughs not just from their lines, but also their interactions with each other. Excellent chemistry is apparent among this cast, easily some of the best seen at Arcadia’s shows. And for a reviewer that has made almost every one of Arcadia’s shows when not studying abroad, this will go down as my favorite so far- and I don’t expect it to be dethroned anytime soon.


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