Grand Valley State University's spring musical is the venerable -- because it's over 30 years old -- campy B-movie masterpiece "The Rocky Horror Show". No, that's not a typo -- you only put the word "Picture" in the title if you're talking about the MOVIE, not the play. 'Cause then it'd be a Picture Show and not a Show. Right?
It's a stunning production. The small band is superb and the singing voices are all excellent. Frank-N-Furter, Riff-Raff, Dr. Scott and even Eddie are all powerful and over-the-top as they needs be. Rocky Horror himself is amazing -- he's buff and trim and able to hang on a fire pole while singing, and more than built-up enough to carry Frank up a long, long staircase and Frank is not a small person -- plus he's able to carry off the innocence and confusion of his character. Brad and Janet are perfectly cast as the wholesome young couple thrown into this nightmare of hedonism -- we last saw actress Megan Johnson as the French princess in Love's Labour's Lost in the fall, and while her voice isn't quite powerful enough on the highest notes, she owns the role and looks very cute in her underwear. No, really. But the actress playing Columbia can belt out the songs and deserves special merit, as does the opening quartet of old-fashioned movie house ushers and the men's and women's ensembles who use the entire auditorium as their stage.
Hey, it IS Rocky Horror after all, and there's plenty of props and taglines thrown in, and special games for the Virgins.
The show races by at a breakneck pace and is never dull, even though I've seen it before. The sets are spacious and wild, with plenty of toys for the horror movie buff, and all the costumes, especially for Riff-Raff and his sister in the end, are well, Mrs. Dr. Phil's Mom said she wanted to have done those costumes. In spirit, the most comparable show we can think of is the most excellent Return to the Forbidden Planet, which we've been blessed to see two different companies do in West Michigan.
You Can Still Take The Trip, Too
It often happens that we end up doing closing night/mattinee performances. But this time our scheduling put us on the opening weekend. That means if you're in the West Michigan area, you should really think about coming out to Allendale and checking it out.
Performances of the gender-bending spoof of sci-fi B-movies, a sexy cult classic, are planned for March 23, 24, 29, 30, 31 at 7:30 p.m., a special performance on March 30 at midnight, and matinees March 25, and April 1 at 2 p.m. All performances are at the Louis Armstrong Theatre in the Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 faculty/staff/alumni/seniors, and $6 students. For more information call the LAT Box Office at (616) 331-2300. Tickets are also available, with a service fee, through any Star Tickets Plus outlet.
Don't forget your newspapers.