Little Theatre offers its take on ‘Rocky Horror’

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Little Theatre offers its take on ‘Rocky Horror’
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By Jordan Wright (Photo/Doug Olmsted)

After Janet and Brad’s car gets a flat tire on a deserted road in the middle of the woods on a spooky evening they, wind up at Frank-N-Furter’s castle. There, all hell breaks loose in The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show,” an androgynous, rock ’n’ roll spoof of B-movies where things go both bump and grind in the night.

You’ll catch the theme immediately, as ushers garbed in steampunk attire present you with your program and a pair of 3-D glasses. As Janet tells Brad, “This isn’t the Junior Chamber of Commerce!”

For those unaware of this campy cult classic, my best advice is not to resist the experience. Since it is a live performance, theatergoers (unlike fans who attend the film version) are not permitted to bring rice, prunes, water pistols, candles, lighters, matches, noisemakers, confetti, toilet paper, toast, cards or hot dogs. The list of contraband should tell you everything you’ll need to know about where this kinky show is headed.

The theater’s directive notwithstanding, dressing up as your favorite character, or just “in theme,” is encouraged, especially given the Halloween season. Just think of it as fright night in drag with enough dry ice, monsters in garter belts wielding whips and laser guns to cheer up even the most hardened of horror story lovers.

Seventeen musical numbers heighten the hilarity, the best known being “The Time Warp” and “Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me.” And there is plenty of lurex, leather, feather boas and sequins provided by costume designers Jean Schlichting and Kit Sibley to dazzle any drag show fan. In the number “Floorshow/Rose Tint My World,” they pull out all the stops for Frank-N-Furter’s love fest. “Don’t dream it.  Be it!” he urges, vamping about in towering red patent leather platform boots.

Unfortunately some of the performances are uneven and the energy level ratchets up only when Patrick M. Doneghy as Frank-N-Furter; Malcolm Lee in dual roles as Eddie and Doctor Scott; Ricardo Coleman as the muscle-bound Rocky; Paige Taylor with her terrific voice as Magenta; and Matt Liptak as the evil Riff Raff; are on stage. The lackluster chorus never seems to rise from the dead.

Ken and Patti Crowley kick up the effects with clever silhouetted projections during Brad and Janet’s sexcapades, but the sound is maddeningly ineffective even with a live orchestra.

In the immortal words of Frank-N-Furter, “It’s not easy having a good time!”

“The Rocky Horror Show” runs through November 15th at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St. For tickets and information call the box office at 703-683-0496 or visit www.thelittletheatre.com.

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