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Theatre Review: The Rocky Horror Show, a campy classic not to miss

 Lisa Much Theatre Review: The Rocky Horror Show, a campy classic not to missThe Rocky Horror Show runs Sundays at Shadowbox Live through August 18th.
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Shadowbox Live’s The Rocky Horror Show makes for a fun and unique evening (or afternoon) out on the town. It promises and provides plenty of wonderful music, quality staging and fine design in a not-to-miss show.

The Rocky Horror Show runs Sundays at Shadowbox Live through August 18th. Photo by Studio 66.

As with most Shadowbox shows, the costumes quickly catch the eye; however, with The Rocky Horror Show the costumes and wigs coordinated by Betsy Shortt explode off the stage like fireworks in a cornucopia of color. All of the performers own the often absurd clothing or lack thereof of their character, but first and foremost, I must commend several men for their graceful command of the four-inch heel. JT Walker III, Billy DePetro and Jamie Barrow noticeably rock the mountain-high shoes in a manner that many women I know cannot. Kudos gentlemen, for making running look so simple.

As the pinnacle and main attraction of the show, Walker portrays an honest yet well-controlled Frankenfurter. This role may be the funniest I’ve ever seen him. If not, it certainly comes close. DePetro plays a perfect Rocky, vulnerable yet brave, and with rippling muscles he knows how to control. He effortlessly does several impressive push-ups with Walker on his back. Again, kudos sir for accomplishing two things many people cannot do, in addition to an excellent and polished performance.

Edelyn Parker plays a sultry yet serious Magenta in an indescribably distinct and refined way that lasts in your mind after the curtain call. All in all though, the familiar Shadowbox crew is excellently cast in this show and, as always, the music pulses. Music director Matthew Hahn and vocal director Stacie Boord do a fantastic job building on their signature sound and creating stellar harmonies to some of the most popular songs of all time. The Rocky Horror Show Band rocks as well.

Apart from some minor mic glitches and one lighting moment when I missed Frank’s face, the tech and design excel. David Whitehouse’s interactive and engaging video design add a lot to the show, in atmosphere, exposition, camp and humor. I wish more of this happened in Columbus. The video sometimes dueled for attention with Mark Dahnke’s awesome set design. The futuristicly flashy laboratory (and space ship?) needs just a bit more time in the limelight. As a whole, director Julie Klein handles this famed script with great energy and unique quirks making for a truly fun and warped show.

As is the case with any Rocky Horror event, the audience really makes or breaks the evening. While this one certainly differs from the movie (don’t throw rice at live actors), Shadowbox Live encourages people to participate by dancing, singing or even contributing with lines, so long as it does not disrupt or distract. The Rocky Horror Show only runs until mid August; time is fleeting. Get to Shadowbox before you miss the party!

The Rocky Horror Show runs until August 18 at Shadowbox Live, 503 S. Front Street. Sun. at 2:00 & 7:00 pm. Tickets $30; $20 for students & seniors.

More information can be found online at ShadowboxLive.org.

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