Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast
Rocky Horror Show
Also see Bill's review of Blackbird: The Story of Josephine Baker
American Stage presented a fabulous cast, just what is needed for the hi-jinx of this show. Kelly Bostick, and Georgia Mallory Guy led off as the Usherettes, singing "Science Fiction/Double Feature," assisted by Joel Gennari lending an air of unsettling pan-sexuality, which was a perfect way to set the highly erotically charged mood of the piece. Alison Burns was wonderful as Janet: uptight early on, a completely changed woman later. Jim Sorensen, as Brad, was also was able to play the extremes of his role. Both had great voices. American Stage favorite, Matthew McGee as Dr. Frank N. Furter toned down the role's fruitiness, underplaying where others have gone right up and over the top. I loved it. He was unafraid to ad-lib to hilarious effect. One time when he got tongue tied on a line he rewound the tape in his brain and tried it again, perfect for this character and this show. The audience loved him, and so did I. I have loved his work in several other productions, but this was my favorite Matt McGee performance. Victor Chan as Riff Raff and Ericka Womack-Brown as Magenta led a high energy "Time Warp," the musical's best song. Ushers and others were dancing in the isles and an encore was required. Mr. Chan's Riff Raff was more loveable teddy bear than eerie, but he carried it off well. Eye Candy was provided by Jose Urbino's Rocky, and he also danced well. Females in the audience as well as some of the men loved what he had to offer. Eddie and his alter ego, Dr. Everett V. Scott, were played by Lulu Picart, as a dike on a bike which was very funny. Her vocals were powerful in the way only a female can reach down and sing the R&B tinged blues. All of the music was well supported by the band, consisting of Michael Raabe, Paul Stoddart, Joe Grady and Burt Rushing. They were loud, but the sound design effectively kept things in balance.
The stage at Demons Landing is very large and multi-leveled. Karla Hartley moved her cast all around the stage so that each location was effectively delineated and defined with set pieces. She was helped by the set designs of Steve Mitchell. The effective choreography by Domenic Bisesti was energetic and well executed by the cast. The production unfolded smoothly, thanks to Stage Manager Garry Allan Breul. This was the best American Stage in the Park production I have seen, so far.
American Stage Theater Company presents Rocky Horror Show through May 13, 2012, at Demons Landing in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit americanstage.org.
The Cast (in order of appearance)
Direction: Karla Hartley