PRESCOTT - Some of Prescott's founding fathers may roll over in their graves, and some current city leaders may shudder, but the madcap, sex-charged "Rocky Horror Show" is coming to town.
"The show is about two wholesome, white-bread people who don't know much about themselves, get lost in a world of decadence, then discover things about themselves and people that open their minds," said Jacob d'Armand, co-artistic director of Prescott Independent Theater and director/co-star of the Rocky Horror Show.
The play, produced by Lonesome Valley Playhouse, opens at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Elks Opera House in Prescott. Snappy live music powers the superb acting and slapstick comedy. Shapely legs covered in fishnet stockings dance around the stage.
Most Rocky Horror fans discovered the story from the midnight movie classic, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." But the movie started as a play.
Richard O'Brien wrote the play in 1972 and originally titled it "They Came from Denton High," according to rockyhorror.com. He changed the name to "The Rocky Hor-Roar Show," and finally to "The Rocky Horror Show." The play opened in London in 1973, and Hollywood film producer Lou Adler released it as a movie parody in 1975.
Prescott High School student Hannah Palazzi was born 20 years after the movie first hit theaters, and now she sings, dances and cavorts her way through the PIT production. However, she already had seen the movie and knew what she was getting into.
"It is the most bizarre film ever created," she said before a recent dress rehearsal. "It just really intrigued me. I love it because it's so out there."
She learned about the film's cult following when she "watched it with my dad and he was yelling out the lines with my mom."
The plot starts out simply enough: Two young lovers recently engaged, Brad (played by Jayk Boomer) and Janet (Valerye Jeffries), get a flat tire one rainy night and walk to a castle for help, where the creepy Riff-Raff (d'Armand) greets them at the door.
Inside the castle, the couple is caught up in the sex-filled world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite hosting his annual convention for visitors from the planet Transsexual.
Chris Galinski, 19, plays Frank-N-Furter. Dressing like a woman, he said, "was very interesting."
"I don't think of Frank as a transvestite - he's just pure sexuality," Galinski said. "He's not gay or straight."
To prepare for his role, Galinski took the advice of his female co-actors and went to the Prescott Gateway Mall and "watched how women walk in heels and how they acted feminine."
Jason Strunk, 18, plays Rocky Horror, and first rented the movie when he was 13.
"I heard it was a classic, and I thought it was really weird but good," he said. "I didn't really get it at first." He gets it now, though.
When Jerome resident Olga Salazar, 21, saw a flyer for Rocky Horror auditions, she jumped at the chance to be in the play.
"When I heard about the play, I got really excited to get involved," she said. Salazar plays the Criminologist and narrates the film's various plotlines.
She saw the film for the first time when she was 13, and she joined legions of "audience participants" by dressing as one of the characters, and then acting out during the film.
"I can't remember the first time too well, because I was more distracted by dressing in my underwear," she recalls.
"I definitely encourage people to dress up, but not to throw things on the stage," d'Armand said. "My goal is to get an entire line of transvestites lined up around the theater."
To generations that came of age during the 1970s, the show may be a walk down memory lane. To the uninitiated, d'Armand could spawn a new generation of Rocky Horror fans.
Tickets cost $20 and are available online at elksoperahouse.com. For more information, call 773-1370.
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