‘Rocky Horror’ delivers fun, insanity, camp, sex

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Padgett Productions’ fourth annual re-mounting of “Rocky Horror Show” runs through Halloween with a stellar cast, blisteringly hot costumes, spectacular voices, a killer band, and outrageous performances.

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“The Rocky Horror Show” performs at Kansas City’s Louis Curtiss Studio Buildingjust north of the Sprint Center and the Power and Light District. Be forewarned: patrons began lining up at 6:30 for the 8 p.m. performance to insure the best seats. Doors open 30 minutes prior to performances.

Chuck Mason Photography/Prohibition Hall

For those not in the know, “The Rocky Horror Show” evolves from blending horror and science fiction movies of the 1930. Mostly, the show spoofs the Mary Shelley classic Frankenstein with the re-animation of deceased persons. Add music, dance, campy characters, outlandish costumes, and aliens from outer space and you get an idea of what “The Rocky Horror Show” parodies.

A successful stage show, the live show was adapted to film with Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick in the major roles. Though panned by critics, the show encouraged a huge fan base as patrons frequented the show, began dressing like the characters, started lip=synching the dialogue, making rude comments to the spoken

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lines, danced in theatre aisles, and propelled the show into cult status. The movie and live shows continue to attract crowds throughout its 40-year history.

Padgett Productions knows how to present immersive-styled shows, and this fills the bill. As the show develops, characters engage with the audience by going through the rows, The audience is coached prior to the show how to respond to characters’ names. A party kit with props can be added to ticket prices. The kit includes props to fit with the ongoing musical.

For the shy, be aware, no one is embarrassed or called onto the stage, or singled out. Virgins to “The Rocky Horror Show”can be identified and marked prior to opening curtain. Those new to the show will find comfort in the pre-show talk that explains all this. The show is fun from start to finish.

Chuck Mason Photography/Prohibitio

Those familiar with the show may come in costumes as was done for years at the film showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” It’s part of the fun to see persons sitting near you in costumes, but rest assured, none will equal the costumes created for this production.

“The Rocky Horror Show” delivers fun-fueled entertainment for the Halloween season. Costumes, delivery of dialogue, and on stage interactions, give the show panache. A parody of sci-fi and black and white horror films, “The Rocky Horror Show,” provides campy amusement. Include audience responses and the laughter to ignite the onstage flame. Because of the venue’s intimate atmosphere the audience feels part of the action.

After-show fan photo/Prohibition Hall

Really strong performances come from Nick Padgett as Frank “N” Furter a mad scientist; Jill Smith as Magenta, a servant; Brandon Olsen as Brad; Lacy Goettling as Janet; and Travis Holt as Riff-Raff. Their characters control the story, and the actors understand the comedy of their lines, and work well together. Others in the cast do not have a chance to do a lot with their characters because the script does not fully develop those characters. But, rest assured, the supporting cast adds to the fun and sexuality of the piece. The ensemble is strong and their voices blend beautifully. Like all Padgett productions, every cast member possesses a great voice and could step into another part with relative ease.

After-show fan photo/Prohibition Hall

Horror, science fiction, comedy, music, dance, and a hefty dose of sexual content blend so well to create a fun-filled live theatrical experience. Capacity crowds guarantee that the show returns next year for its fifth consecutive year. And, with each new production, the show changes, gets bigger and better. So far, all shows sold out.

“The Rocky Horror Show” would not stand out as well without the talented band performing the score. Music director Tim Braselton has nothing but praise of his band members after the performance–and rightly so. They were phenomenal. All deserve commendation.

After-show fan photo/Prohibition Hall

Other technical aspects of the show are good, but, honestly, the costumes were superb, showy, and glitzy when needed. Francie Kapomo-Kuzila deserves special recognition for her flashy, sexy, skin-tight, seductive costumes and a dynamic makeup design for the cast. Skimpy-cut costumes; shimmery fabrics; intense, colorful makeup with lots of glitter make every character stand out. It’s the WOW effect in overdrive–and spectacular.

The only technical problem is the sound which echoes at times. Setting the sound in an empty space changes when a capacity crowd enters. And, as a suggestion to patrons, purchase your concessions upon entry because the limited concession area creates long and slow lines as the audience fills the area.

After-show fan photo/Prohibition Hall

The cast is: Nick Padgett as Frank “n” Furter, Brandon Olsen as Brad, Lacy Goettling as Janet, Travis Holt as Riff-Raff, Jill Smith as Magenta, Chelsea Anglemyer as Columbia, Ray Ettinger as Narrator, Christoph Nevins as Rocky Horror (8 p.m.), Cameron Gunter as Rocky Horror (midnights), Justin Moss as Eddie/Dr. Scott, Kristen Altoro as Trixie, Elise Campagna as Phantom, Katie Pugh as Phantom/dance captain; Maria Savoy as Phantom.

The production team is: Nick Padgett, director, producer/assistant choreographer; Sonia Jacobson, stage manager; Tim Braselton, music director; Francie Kapomo-Kuzila, costumes/makeup; Kate Sanders, lighting design; Salem Summers, sound design; Angie Scanlan, front of house; Jill Smith, company manager.

After-show fan photo/Prohibition Hall

The band is: Tim Braselton, keyboard; Nick Panda, drums; Brooke Kafka, saxophone; Ben Byard, electric guitar; Mark Johnson, electric bass.

“The Rocky Horror Show” continues in the Louis Curtiss Studio Building Kansas City, Missouri through Oct. 31. Performances begin at 8 p.m. for Oct. 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31. Midnight shows are: Oct. 19 and 26. Tickets are available only online through the Padgett Productions website. www.Rockyhorrorkc.com

Tags: “The Rocky Horror Show” review, Nick Padgett, Padgett Productions, inclusionKC.com, Kansas City Theatre, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment

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