“Let’s do the time warp again…” ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ returns to OB Playhouse

That wiggly ear worm “The Time Warp” is a hit from the rock musical The Rocky Horror Show that premiered onstage in London in 1973, and it became the cult classic film in 1975, because the songs, dances and characters are irresistible.

Start with a jump to your left and then step to your right, with your hands on your hips, you bring your knees up tight…

Jake Bevill as Rocky Horror and Kylie Young as Janet in “Touch-A-Touch-A Touch Me” in ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Image: Adriana Zuniga-Williams

The outrageous musical comedy is a sexual parody of horror and science fiction films and returns to the OB Theatre through March 1, 2020. Hold onto your G-string, it’s directed and choreographed by the acclaimed Michael Mizerany.

The award-winning dancer and choreographer has immersed himself in theater projects with critical success. He did 13 shows last year. He’s also a respected playwright.

“The first show I directed at OB was ‘Bat Boy: The Musical,'” Mizerany recalls, “then ‘Rocky Horror,’ and I choreographed ‘Scrooge in Rouge,’ ‘American Idiot,’ and ‘Heathers: The Musical.’

“I reinvented this ‘Rocky Horror’ play in several ways,” he says with a grin. “And there’s more dancing than in the film. The movie is more glam rock, and ours is more S and M, with leather harnesses and bras. We have a flogger and some riding crops.”

Hunter Brown as Brad and Kylie Young as Janet in “Superheroes.” Image: Adriana Zuniga-Williams

Infamous characters wear risqué costumes akin to tiny swimsuits, and they fill the small stage. Following tradition, the audience is encouraged to interact with them.

“Frank N. Furter and the narrator are the only characters who respond,” Mizerany explains. “If you yell out something, they will reply with wild improvisation. And I am shocked, which is hard to do, by the things audience members shout out. They say some of the dirtiest things.”

As the 70s and 80s are a bit hazy for some readers, let’s review the plot.

A straight and square couple, Janet and Brad, seek shelter from a storm and find themselves in the castle of a transvestite alien mad scientist obsessed with creating a buff bodybuilder. And the madness begins.

The OB Theatre Cast includes:

Frank N. Furter: Joey Kirkpatrick, Rocky: Jake Bevill, Janet Weiss: Kylie Young, Brad Majors: Hunter Brown, Columbia: Olivia Lucci, Riff Raff: SeeJay Lewis, Magenta: Kaitlyn Summers, Eddie/Dr.Everett V. Scott: Amanda Blair, The Narrator: David Janish, Phantom: Jake Strohl, Phantom: Roxie Peters, Phantom: Andrew Aguilar.

“This is a remount from last year’s sold-out show, and it is super dance heavy,” Mizerany says. “If you’ve ever seen the film, you probably know the songs, especially ‘Time Warp.’ I’ve tweaked that into a stage show for four dancers. And it’s not like the film, because hey, we don’t have a swimming pool or staircases!”

The lobby opens an hour before show time. Interactive prop packages may be purchased. Management asks that viewers do NOT bring in personal props such as: toast, rice, or squirt guns.

Jake Bevill as Rocky Horror in shadow left, Hunter Brown as transformed Brad in “The Floor Show.” Image: Adriana Zuniga-Williams

“We’ll have props, and please don’t throw rice, because of the trip hazards.” Mizerany said. “Now that’s a challenge. But the biggest leap for me was how to stage the bedroom scene, when Frank N. Furter sneaks into Janet’s room. There’s usually a curtain, but we have the bed upright.”

Mizerany’s known for physically demanding choreography. Dancers are often tossed in the air.  He says the “Hot Patootie” scene is especially risky with many people crammed on the small stage. (RHS cult members will remember the song was originally titled “Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?” Meat Loaf took the part in the Los Angeles production in 1974, and reprised the role in the film, riding on a frozen motorcycle).

“That’s Eddie’s big rock n roll song,” Mizerany says, “and I yell at the actors ‘stay in your places damn it!’ because it’s so crazy. They go into the audience, especially the front row. I hope people dress up and talk back to them, because this is a fun, interactive show. We’re very raunchy. You might get pulled up on stage for ‘Time Warp’ in the final curtain call.”

The Rocky Horror Show runs through March 1, 2020 at the OB Theatre.


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