Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 @ 7:03 AM
By: Russell Florence Jr.
— Babies, don’t you panic. The “Sweet Transvestite” and his kooky cronies are back as Dayton’s Annual Transylvanian Convention stages its 10th anniversary presentation of Richard O’Brien’s 1973 cult classic rock musical “The Rocky Horror Show” Nov. 1-4 at Timothy’s Bar on Brown Street.
Here are five reasons why you should spend time this week with Frank and Co.
In 2008, this labor of love was set in motion by Darren Brown, a 2009 University of Dayton graduate who recently received his M.F.A.in acting from the University of Connecticut.
A longtime “Rocky Horror” fan, Brown felt the urge to bring his favorite show to Dayton in some capacity having been a part of a student production during his brief time at Ohio University.
“I really felt UD needed this show and Tim’s was a dive bar with a stripper pole,” Brown exclaimed. “The first year was like ‘garage band theater.’ We did everything from the ground up. We put in the sweat equity. We did all we could to make it happen, and it was a huge success. Ten years later, I’m glad this show has become a staple in the UD community. The spirit of the show and the community within the troupe and the greater Dayton area all of us had hoped to foster 10 years ago is still there and still thriving. To be celebrating the 10th anniversary is absolutely awesome.”
TIMELESS STORY AND SONGS
O’Brien’s silly and risqué sci-fi romp tells the tale of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, straight-laced sweethearts who stumble upon the castle of mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter.
As the duo tries to cope within their strange surroundings, Frank (fixated on creating life, which arises in the form of the hunky Rocky) and his followers take them on an unforgettable journey.
The timeless score features the exuberantly iconic “Time Warp” in addition to terrific ballads such as “Science Fiction Double Feature,” “Over at the Frankenstein Place” and “Super Heroes.”
“I really feel this production is one of the best productions of ‘Rocky Horror’ in the region,” said Brown, who serves as producer. “We try to capture the spirit of both “Rocky Horror Show’ and ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ I love this ‘Rocky’ hybrid we’ve created. ‘Rocky Horror’ overall is a modern masterpiece.”
Under the direction of Laura Porcelli, this year’s incarnation features principals Patrick Bernauer as Dr. Frank N. Furter, Thomas Pedrotti as Brad Majors, Alexa Rojas as Janet Weiss, Max Shafer as Riff-Raff, Belle Mochrie as Magenta, Jordan Hightower as Columbia, Thomas Blevins as Rocky, Sam Gyenes as Eddie, Ben McMillen as Dr. Scott, Aaron Eversole as The Criminologist, and Betsy Mazza as Lips.
“Being in “Rocky’ is definitely one of the highlights of my year,” said Pedrotti, who delivered a breakthrough performance earlier this season as Jud Fry in Brookville Community Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!” “I think part of what makes it so special is how unique it is. The culture that’s grown up around it over the years is incredible. I think it’s great how the show encourages confidence.” In addition, Saturday’s performance is considered Alumni Night.
The fun of any “Rocky Horror” experience is the audience participatory “callbacks,” allowing the audience to interject throughout the evening. Brown doesn’t want you to hold back.
“My biggest passion about ‘Rocky Horror’ is community,” he said. “The most culturally accepted taboo in America is ‘Rocky Horror.’ You can shout terrible, derogatory things and nobody cares. It’s incredible that it’s still that way in 2017 since we are so culturally sensitive about everything. There is no censorship here. ‘Rocky Horror’ is a completely inclusive community. Just show up and whoever you are and whoever you want to be is accepted.”
“I think UD’s take on this show is great because how into it the cast gets,” Pedrotti added. “We really become a family and the culture is really a great thing to be a part of. It’s wonderful to be able to cut loose on stage and just have a good time.”
All proceeds from the production benefit The Greater Dayton LGBT Center.
“We love partnering with the local community,” Brown said. “We want to do good by supporting our community. Our production encapsulates community, theater, sexuality, inclusion, and service. This is why this show has become a mainstay.”
WANT TO GO?
What: “The Rocky Horror Show: A Decade of Decadence”
When: Nov. 1-4; 9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; Doors open 1 hour prior
Where: Timothy’s Bar, 1818 Brown St., Dayton
Cost: $6 Wednesday; $8 Thursday-Saturday
FYI: Must be 18 or older to attend; Must be 21 or older to drink