DHS grad takes stage in 'Rocky Horror Show"™
This Halloween, the Playhouse on the Green in Bridgeport hosts a spooktacular spectacle, full of twists, turns" and transvestites.
The "Rocky Horror Show" is based on the original British stage musical. It premiered at the Playhouse last fall; and, after a successful run, it`s now playing once again.
Matt Schicker, producing artistic director of the Playhouse, feels that the musical fits well with the Halloween season.
"The Rocky Horror Show is a pretty edgy, out there, racy show," he said. "One of the big themes of the show is people in costumes: some characters are phantoms, and there are a lot of thematic things that fit perfect with Halloween. A lot of the audience comes in costume. They become a character in this experience."
And what an experience it is. Unlike many stage shows, the "Rocky Horror" audience is encouraged to sing and interact with the actors. This keeps people coming back for more, according to Schicker. "When the show opened [last year] some die hard "Rocky Horror" fans were coming from out of town to see it; they were curious," he said. "Then, right away, everyone`s encouraged to be rambunctious. It was like cathartic experience to be a naughty kid. That took off."
The "Rocky Horror Show" begins on a dark and stormy night in November, when newly engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, become lost and get a flat tire. They knock for help on the door of a nearby castle, and are invited in, where they encounter strange people and things during an annual Transylvanian convention.
The lead part of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania," is played by Fairfield resident Jim Nassef. The character is bizarre and overtly sexual; he is in charge of the convention. Nassef, who also played the part last year, found it fun to portray such an over-the-top character.
"I never get the chance to be the crazy, out there character so it was different," he said. "I like what Tim Curry did [with the character originally]. I really like the movie; it`s really funny."
Other characters include a group of odd convention attendees, including the maid Magenta, who is played by Melinda Zupaniotis of Norwalk. Zupaniotis enjoyed her role, and the experience of putting on a show that goes with this time of year.
"The show fits in with the motif, the theme of the season," she said. "I think it`s so campy; the play is a satire on old science fiction movies. It`s taking all the elements of each of them and putting them into one medium."
Zupaniotis has been acting since she was a student at Darien High School. This is her first year with "Rocky Horror;" she replaced one of the cast members who couldn`t return from last year.
"It`s so nice to be back on stage. This play is the outlandish, bizarre and has stereotypes; the trick is to find realism in it," she said. "It`s just plain fun."
The show, which opened last weekend, has continued to be a success. "It came together really nicely and fast. We`re really happy with it," said Nassef. "We had more time to fine tune things this year. It was a good experience and I`m glad I did it again."
The "Rocky Horror Show" performs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 14. Tickets are $29 and $26. Visit www.playhouseonthegreen.org or call TheaterMania at (866) 811-4111.