Theatre Baton Rouge’s upcoming run of “The Rocky Horror Show” is sold out. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get a chance to see it.
You just have to let the theater know how much you want to see it, and then wait with antici … pation.
“People are signing up,” director Haley Schroeck says. “We underestimated the popularity of this show.”
“The Rocky Horror Show” is Richard O’Brien’s stage musical that paved the way for the cult classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
O’Brien played Riff Raff in both the stage play and movie, but a cast of local actors will be doing the ‘Time Warp’ when TBR opens this Halloween fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 29.
Schroeck is directing a cast of 13 for this scaled-down version of the show, which will be staged in Theatre Baton Rouge’s Studio Theatre. The set will be somewhat abstract, resembling a canopy bed, and the music will be prerecorded.
But Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Collin Smith, will introduce himself as the “sweet transvestite from transexual Transylvania” and will be surrounded by his gang of Unconventional Conventionalists when he creates his own version of the Frankenstein monster — Rocky — with blond hair and a tan.
And everyone can take part in the traditional callbacks and even dance the Time Warp — in costume, of course. Brad and Janet’s journey wouldn’t be complete without the audience’s help.
That’s where this story begins, with clean-cut Brad, played by Brandon Guillory, proposing marriage to his innocent, wide-eyed girlfriend, Janet, played by Kelly Edmonds. Their car breaks down in a storm, forcing them to take refuge at a mysterious castle, where they discover the fashionable mad scientist Frank-N-Furter.
And the madness only escalates from there, set to music known by every “Rocky Horror” fan.
O’Brien was an out-of-work actor in early 1970s London when he wrote “The Rocky Horror Show,” which made its way to Broadway in 1975, the same year the film was produced.
The film was a flop at first, but found its niche in the weekend midnight movie circuit. And though the live version doesn’t usually open with the film’s iconic red lips singing “Science Fiction,” Theatre Baton Rouge’s will.
“We’re adding a projection of a recreation of the giant lips as our cast sings along,” Schroeck says. “People are expecting certain things to be in this show, and we’re not changing any of the traditional songs or lines. Still, we’re doing a few things to make this production our own.”
The humor and content of this cultural mainstay is R-rated. Still, it attracted a cast of TBR veterans and newcomers.
“We’ve had some people who have been away from Theatre Baton Rouge come back to do this show,” Schroeck says. “I’ve been in three productions of it, but this is my first time to direct it. And the production staff have all been involved in ‘Rocky Horror’ productions, so we all know this show coming into it.”
The production is a fundraiser for the theater.
“Some of the money will go to fix some of the electrical problems we have, and some of it will go to our roof,” says Schroeck. “We want our building to be in the best possible shape for our future productions.”
Tickets sold out almost immediately, which has Schroeck already thinking ahead. TBR and 10/31 Consortium also will be collecting non-perishable items for the Baton Rouge Food Bank at each show.
“We would like to make this a Halloween tradition, just like ‘A Christmas Carol’ has become a Christmas tradition for Theatre Baton Rouge,” she says. “So, our next step will be expanding our productions.”
But that might happen sooner than later, because the waiting list is growing.