It’s just a jump to the left
Theatre MRU does Rocky right
Look out, Mount Royal. This isn’t a party for rich weirdos, it’s a Science Fiction Double Feature geared to knock you right out of your bobby socks.
For over 40 years, fans of the cult hit The Rocky Horror Show have been throwing toast, rice and doing the Time Warp again, and again.
As the story goes, the recently engaged — and annoyingly wholesome — Brad and Janet are taking a drive to visit their former teacher, Dr. Scott, when they get a flat. They decide to stop in at the nearest castle to use a phone when they interrupt a very strange celebration.
As Brad and Janet finally give themselves over to absolute pleasure, the strange only gets stranger.
Played respectively by Simon Tottrup and Emily Dallas, the two serve as a great vessel for the audience to dive right into the show. Unfortunately, Dallas’ mic had some technical issues, which led to her voice cutting out. It got to be a bit distracting during her bigger numbers.
Meant to bring Theatre MRU onto the public’s radar, this production was the most elaborate (and expensive) the program has put on since 1999.
The team behind it all includes director Mark Bellamy, set and costume designer Robert Shannon, and Doug Rathbun, an associate professor of theatre and coordinator of MRU’s theatre program.
Don’t write this show off as a mere student production, though. The quality of the show, from set, to singing, to costumes is quite professional. Not surprising, after Rathbun, Shannon and Bellamy worked together on a 2005 Betty Mitchell nominated production of the play at Stage West.
Frank-N-Furter, the self-described Sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania is played by first-year theatre student Reid Haggis. Haggis was spot on in this role, looking right at home strutting in thigh-high, leather, heeled boots and hot pants. His pitch-perfect musical performance was a delight that carried his scenes.
His creation Rocky — played well by Evan May—is a sight to behold, as he lives up the physical spectacle the character is meant to be. His naivety in coming right into the world comes across really well, as all he knows to do is to flex his well-formed body. Despite this constantly happening, it doesn’t get old.
Zakk MacDonald might just have the most memorable part, as the interrupting, deadpan Narrator. His staccato outbursts and blend of suave moves and flustered explanations only work well because MacDonald completely commits, which he does.
Unlike their celluloid relatives, the actors in Theatre MRU’s The Rocky Horror Show are in living colour and they have enough to worry about with acting, singing and dancing without you nailing them in the forehead with a piece of toast.
This is a production that Mount Royal Theatre should be very proud of, especially with all of the work they put into it.