If you are new to Fayetteville, you probably know Rocky Horror Picture Show best from late night cable TV airings. If you’ve been in Fayetteville for the past few years, you no doubt equate Rocky Horror with the Gilbert Theater.
Originally produced on stage in London, Rocky Horror became a cult hit after the 1975 release of the ﬁ lm starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon. Part rock opera, part horror movie, part sci-ﬁ ﬂick, Rocky Horror rolls a lot of personality into one story.
“There is a reason why that movie has been around for so long. You’ve got so many people that are drawn to it. I go back to that every once in a while and try to ﬁ nd some pieces to incorporate onto the stage,” said Rhonda Brocki, Gilbert Theater Director and Choreographer.
With a fan-base that has been loyal for 36 years and continues to grow, Brocki says the appeal of Rocky Horror is because it’s a one-of-a-kind production. “It’s so campy. In the 70s it was probably seen as even more bizarre, but it has a charm about it. It’s fun, it’s nothing to take seriously. It’s just bizarre enough to get your attention. There hasn’t been anything like Rocky Horror since it’s opening.“
The story remains the same, but audiences rarely tire of the dalliances of Dr. Frank-N-Furter and crew. It all starts on a stormy night in November when Brad and his ﬁancé Janet seek shelter at a castle where they stumble upon Frank with his minions Riff Raff, the handyman; Magenta, the domestic; and Columbia, the tap dancing groupie. Rocky Horror, the Charles Atlas inspired creation of Frank, is born this night. It is a night ﬁlled with catchy songs, deception, activities that might be deemed romance in exotic cultures and murderous intentions.
The fourth production of The Rocky Horror Show at the Gilbert Theater will run from Sept. 22 through Oct. 9. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. every night except for Sundays, which is at 6 p.m. There is a special midnight show on Friday, Oct. 7.
“I’ve gone to see other productions just to compare and I’m really happy with what we’ve come up with as our interpretation. We have a very good production. I’m proud of it,” said Brocki.
Brocki was the driving force to bring Rocky Horror to the Gilbert. Not only is this her fourth production of Rocky Horror, but it’s also the fourth production for cast members Steve Jones, James Johnson, Ralph Tappan and Breann Garner. Bill Barker, Efrain Colon, Kathleen Zahran, Cary Mundell and Terry Levitt are returning from last year’s highly successful production. Dr. Gail Morfesis is returning as the musical director along with Adita Harless and the stage band.
The Gilbert Theater production of Rocky Horror has been named Best Play/Musical in Up & Coming Weekly’s Best of Fayetteville 2011 poll. Steve Jones, as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, received the nod for Best Male Actor.
“He’s the ultimate Frank-N-Furter. He has just the right qualities. The women love him, the men love him. He’s just perfect. We’re really fortunate to have him,” said Brocki. “
He surprises people too. When I went up to Charlotte to see Rocky Horror, a friend asked ‘Who in Fayetteville can be the role of Frank-N-Furter?’ My response was, ‘Well, you need to come and see.’”
Leave your newspapers and rice at the door, Rocky Horror veterans. Prop bags will be available at the show. Order tickets early at gilberttheater.com. Because when it comes to The Rocky Horror Show at the Gilbert Theater, “you’re lucky, he’s lucky, I’m lucky, we’re all lucky!”