Review: The Rocky Horror Picture Show combines humor and audience participation to create memorable experience

 The cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show during their final dress rehearsal. Photo courtesy of The Duluth Playhouse and Crimson Clear Productions

The cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show during their final dress rehearsal. Photo courtesy of The Duluth Playhouse and Crimson Clear Productions

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a flamboyant, entertaining take on the original “haunted house” film which includes characters that are campy and over-the-top.

From Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, The Underground Theater, a satellite theater within the Duluth Playhouse, put on Zenith City Horror theater company’s annual production of the cult-classic film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

With this being the eighth year The Underground has presented The Rocky Horror Picture Show around Halloween time, the show has developed a large and dedicated fan-base of Duluth locals. The show on Nov. 2 was packed full with many audience members showing up dressed as their favorite Rocky Horror character.

As attendees of the show walked through the doors of The Underground, they were handed a prop bag filled with interactive items such as a noise maker, bubbles and a mini squirt gun. Tickets for the show were $20, and this year the ticket price included a prop bag for no additional cost. These props are used by the audience at different points throughout the show when signaled by cue cards.

The actors lip-synced along to the original 1975 film directed by Jim Sharman. The show introduces the innocent, conservative couple Brad and Janet. As the two stumble upon the mansion of scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Frank-N-Furter is a gender-bending iconic character who creates and then reveals his creation: a muscular “man”.

Alec Schroeder was fantastic as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Even though Frank-N-Furter has been played by countless different actors since the 1970’s, Schroeder was able to create a unique and frisky character that knows how to walk in sky-high heels.

As the show came to a close, the audience stood and clapped as the actors lined up to take a bow. Schroeder walked out holding a transgender community flag. The audience cheered and applauded as the flag was held above the actors’ heads.

Throughout the show, the actors presented their artistic interpretations of the classic film. The costumes, sets and acting choices created a fun and strange experience that the audience will not soon forget.

CultureMarta Rigstad