Rocky Horror comes to life in the Pool.
By CAROLINE CRONIN
The 1973 musical stage production of The Rocky Horror Show was the creation of Richard O’Brien, who wrote the book, music and lyrics. The story of a newly engaged couple caught in a storm and seduced by the strange members of a transvestite doctor’s party is a parody of science fiction and horror movies of the 1940s – 1970s. The show, made into a movie in 1975 with the name The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starred O’Brien as well. It has won awards and hearts with its eccentric comedy and strangely charming music.
This weekend the Adams Pool Theater will play home to Directors Julia Belanoff’s and Patric Verrone’s shadow production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday and Saturday nights. The movie will play on screen while the actors perform!
The Indy was happy to interview Verrone ’18, who also stars as Frank N. Furter, and provides interesting insights on this unique show!
Q: What is different about this production of the show?
In this production of Rocky Horror, Julia’s (my co-director) and my goal was to balance the classic performances that all Rocky Horror fans love while also adapting our production to modern notions surrounding queer identity, sexuality, consent, and relationships. Our design for Frank N. Furter’s look, for example, is a merge of both Tim Curry’s classic makeup and the current drag queens like Jaidynn Diore Fierce and Violet Chachki. We think that performing this show in front of the movie will turn our performances into a literal reflection of the audience’s expectations for the show.
Q: Has your involvement in the show and your understanding of its origins changed through the course of directing and starring in it?
I am constantly learning new things about Rocky Horror and my own relationship with it. At the beginning of our rehearsal process, Sara Bobok (who plays Janet) commented on how Janet’s characterization is so unique and progressive. She is always the instigator and usually the person in the room with the most power besides Frank. I approached this show by thinking about how a world completely manufactured by a femme, gender non-conforming, bisexual, powerful person necessarily flips the traditional narrative on its head. Living in Frank’s world and in his mind, I’m always learning about my own biases, issues, doubts, and feelings.
Q: Why did you choose the Pool theater?
Julia and I were looking for a show to direct that would specifically fit the Adams Pool Theater. It is my personal favorite performance space on campus, and we both thought its “creepy, haunted mansion vibe” fits the show. Because of the nature of the space, we’ve directed the show to have an immersive, 360 degree effect, which works very well with Rocky Horror’s audience participation.
Q: What would you like audience members to know before attending the show?
Know that when you come to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show, that you are entering a space of love and joy and freedom. Come in your freakiest attire (Transylvania chic!). Sing along, dance along, heckle us, shout at us, and express yourself!
Q: Lastly, what is your favorite costume?
My favorite costume is Frank N. Furter’s outfit during the Floorshow. It was designed by myself and Megan Sims. You just have to see it.
Produced by Sherry Gao ’19 and Kyle McFadden ’18 with musical direction by Liz Kantor ’18, the show promises to be more than just a visual treat – but an experience in and of itself!
Caroline Cronin (firstname.lastname@example.org) thanks Verrone for his time and is excited to see Rocky Horror on stage for the first time!