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A sinfully delicious Halloween treat, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ at The Bucks County Playhouse

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REVIEW WRITTEN BY DANTE J. J. BEVILACQUA/For 21st Century Media  

Bursting at the seams with timeless classics, including Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror show at the beautifully renovated Bucks CountyPlayhouse is an outrageous, non-stop party!

Ready to thrill you with its frothy fun, and naughty moments, this is the boldest bash of them all, so sharpen those stilettos for the rockiest ride of your life!

When you go, don’t be alarmed or insulted if asked, “Are you a virgin?” It’s just a way of finding out if you’ve ever seen the show.

A view of the cast of Rocky Horror Show at Bucks County Playhouse. Photo courtesy of  Bucks County Playhouse

A view of the cast of Rocky Horror Show at Bucks County Playhouse. Photo courtesy of Bucks County Playhouse

If you have not seen the film, are not a Baby Boomer, or have had to find shelter under boulders, Rocky Horror Show is the brainchild of an out-of-work actor who kept busy by writing a story combining his love of science fiction with the unintended humor of B horror movies, Steve Reeves muscle films and 50’s rock and roll.

The Narrator tells the tale of Brad and Janet, a young couple leaving their friends’ wedding to see their old science teacher, Dr. Scott, while in town.

A soon-to-be life-changing flat tire leads them to the light in the castle of one Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a cross-dressing mad scientist, along with butler/handyman Riff Raff and sister Magenta. The doctor entertains his guests by revealing his newest creation, Rocky Horror.

Inhibitions start falling by the wayside as Brad and Janet are introduced to new-found sexual delights. With that, I’m not going to reveal more as you wouldn’t believe me anyway!

Fast-paced, funky and over-the-top, The Rocky Horror Show attracts a wide range of audience members from teenagers to baby boomers and those who grew up on the film during their halcyon college days. The off-kilter hilarity that ensues, guarantees a rollicking good time is had by all.

This production benefits from the fact that all the cast members are dripping with stage presence and the whole shebang is just kind of sexy and sizzling hot in a way that remains legal.

Under the inspired direction of Hunter Foster, the cast shines; milking every ounce of energy and campiness this musical offers. The principals and ensemble, have a tight chemistry that plays well onstage and takes the show to another level.

As Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter, Kevin Cahoon’s showmanship virtually oozes out of him, his stance, walk and talk would make any good drag queen proud. He infuses the role with a flamboyant menace, and a devilish sassy confidence that  dominates the show.

The really exotic figures in “Rocky Horror” are Brad and Janet, the soon-to-be newlyweds who get waylaid one dark and stormy night. They’re the ones who really seem to be from another planet, and they’re played to perfection here by Nick Cearley and Alyse Louis.

Peering intently through square black frames that echo his square jaw, Clearley is a model of ’50s young American manhood, and he’s no slouch in leather heels, either. Ms. Louis is fresh and funny and pinup-pretty. Her wide-eyed comic expressions as she traces Janet’s transformation from sorority girl to sex kitten are priceless.

Jennifer Cody is an eye-popping standout as Columbia, Frank ‘N’ Furter’s scorned lover. She has the exuberance and natural allure that makes your eyes follow her wherever she is on stage. As an added bonus, she sings and dances beautifully.

Other show-stopping standouts in this exciting production include John Bolton as the Narrator / Dr. Scott; Jeremy Kushnier’s Riff Raff, Erik Altemus’ sexy, muscle-bound Rocky and Ryah Nixon as Magenta.

Another scintillating group onstage is the ensemble of Phantoms and Transylvanians that sing, dance, cavort in the audience to the extreme and keep the action flowing by moving set pieces and bringing in props. These Phantom dancers (Anabelle Garcia, Sarah Denight, Kathryn Allison and Alex Puette) are choreographed by Lorin Latarro; all of whom are marvelous.

O’Brien’s pulsating score; ’50s rock and soul is pounded out by Sinai Tabak’s onstage band that runs it through a ’70s synthesizer, making it consistently infectious and rousing.

Nicole Moody’s fascinating and titillating costumes draw you into the before-show antics of the ensemble, who are as captivating and carnal as their wardrobes. If they are not interacting with audience members, the group slides around the impressively decorated multi-level set by David Arsenault and Wilson Chin all of which is brilliantly illuminated by Travis McHale’s lighting. This show is one amazing piece of work!

If you’re a seasoned “Rocky” veteran, this rowdy, raucous production is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. If you’re not a seasoned “Rocky” veteran, loosen your inhibitions, shiver in anticipation, and come as you are or always wanted to be. The motto of The Rocky Horror Show is “Don’t Dream it, Be It”.

IF YOU GO: The Rocky Horror Show continues at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope through November 2, 2014 at various times. Tickets: $25 – $49. Information: 215.862.2121 or BCPtheater.org

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