I was feeling very blue so I decided to make the trek from Dallas to Denton to see Denton Community Theatre’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show”. For those of you unacquainted, it’s a poke at the plain vanilla, a dig at the stalwart, a paean to pleasure and transgression. Mind you, it takes no joy from cruelty, but revels in the nocturnal world of polymorphous perversity. With songs like “Touch A Touch Touch A Touch Me” (I wanna be dirty) “Sweet Transvestite,” and “I Can Make You A Man,” it nudges us in the ribs while mocking the poor, clueless, wholesome couple of Brad and Janet.
Newly engaged, Brad and Janet have stumbled into a special party for evil scientist, Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter. Frank is a transvestite from The Planet (Transexual) Transylvania. Dr. Furter is just about to unveil Rocky, the creature he’s created mostly (if not solely) for sexual, recreational purposes. Wearing very little, except for bleach blonde hair, a dark tan, gold bathing suit and a goofy smile, Rocky is not quite ready for his marriage to the good doctor. It’s hard not to chuckle as this gorgeous, muscle-man twink flees the advances of the curiously butch, yet bitchy, Dr. Furter. Brad and Janet’s car has broken down, subsequently forcing them to impose on the doctor’s hospitality. It’s not long before all kinds of shenanigans are afoot at The Frankenstein Castle and our pair of ingenues have crossed the line into promiscuity.
We have to wonder if the first audiences to partake of the “Rocky” experience ever dreamed that by the 21st Century, Rocky Horror would be considered glorious, innocuous fun. Despite its message of releasing your id from its dreary cage (“Don’t dream it, be it…”) and it’s cynical view of the heterosexual paradigm for coupling and propagating, raucous, rowdy gleeful folks old enough to be somebody’s grandparents (if not mine) were romping right alongside the Generation Zs, the night I attended. It may be pretty easy to just roll with the lively, bouncy tunes, without paying much attention to subtext, but I’d like to think it augurs hope for this tired old world.
It seems to be the fad now to project 80% of the scenery on a backscreen, and while they may have overdone that a bit, DCT’s production was overflowing with electricity and giddy, kinetic rambunctiousness. The cast was clearly only too glad to share the good time they were having with us, and that can make for marvelous evening. Standouts among this incorrigible cast of maniacs were : Katherine Anthony (Columbia) Matthew McNabb (Brad) Hannah Lane (Magenta) and Aaron Green (Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter). Anthony had that wonderful Betty Boop/Cyndi Lauper vibe going, McNabb was a steamy boy scout, and Lane was a hot, hot mess. I have to say Green was inspired as the Mad Doctor. The way he simmered and sulked and made that bustier sexier than a black leather jock, the way that haircut and fishnet stockings only enhanced his defiant pansexual virility. It was a revelation.
The Denton Community Theatre presents The Rocky Horror Show, playing November 13th-22nd, 2015. Campus Theater, 214 West West Hickory, Denton, Texas 76201. 940-202-1020.