Spevak Interview: The Rocky Horror Show

Oct 24, 2018

Credit Blackfriars Theatre

On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Rochester’s Blackfriars Theatre presents a show whose title character is based, very, very, very loosely, on Shelley’s notion of a human created out of parts stitched together in a laboratory. The Rocky Horror Show opens Friday and runs through Nov. 11.

And it is no coincidence that right in the midst of the show’s run, we find Halloween.

The Rocky Horror show debuted in London in 1973 and a year later made its Broadway debut. It’s a campy blend of sci-fi, B movies, transvestites and sexual exploration. The 1975 film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was not nearly the critical and commercial success that the theater show was, but over time developed a cult following that remains strong to this day. The extreme audience participation – water pistols during a rainstorm, throwing toast when the actors offer “a toast” – emerged from the film.

While Blackfriars Artistic and Managing Director Danny Hoskins welcomes the verbal aspect of audience participation, he suggests leaving the water pistols and toast at home out of respect for the theater’s new seats.

Credit Blackfriars Theatre

The Rocky Horror Show stars Mrs. Kasha Davis, one of Rochester’s best-known drag queens and a veteran of RuPaul’s Drag Race, as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The show has been selling so quickly that an additional three performances have been added.

For show times and tickets, go to blackfriars.org.

Jeff Spevak, a cultural arts contributor to WXXI, is a Rochester-based writer. His web site is jeffspevak.com.