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‘Rocky Horror’ back in all its campy glory

November 3, 2018 GMT

It lives!

After a year’s hiatus from performing its traditional “Rocky Horror Show Live” production, Stage Right returns with a Halloween theme and an additional venue for this year’s staging of the campy musical comedy at Westmoreland County Community College.

Tony Marino, Stage Right artistic director, said since this year is a comeback of sorts, he wanted to focus on the show’s main characters. The license to produce “Rocky” was unavailable last year.

“In the past, whatever theme we’ve used bleeds onto them as well, but this year we really wanted them to stay the traditional characters,” he said. “So from there, we looked at places we hadn’t gone thematically and straight-up horror is not something we’ve done.”

He also thought that horror characters would provide a great backdrop for the show.

Costumes welcome

Attendees are encouraged to dress as a favorite “Rocky” character or as a favorite character from movies such as “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th,” “Scream” or “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

“I do hope folks dress up; that’s one of the things that give it the feel of a party,” he said.

Performances will be 8 p.m. and midnight Oct. 19-20 at the Lamp Theatre, Irwin; also at 8 p.m. and midnight Oct. 26-27 in Science Hall Auditorium, Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood.

Richard O’Brien’s 1973 musical that inspired the 1975 classic cult film, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” focuses on an innocent couple, Brad and Janet - played by Jason Swauger and Layne Bailey - as they seek shelter at a mysterious old castle on a dark and stormy night.

Crazy creatures

There they meet up with an assortment of crazy creatures, including scientist Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter, played by Justin Lonesome, recently returned from the Australian company of “The Book of Mormon.”

J. Alex Noble plays Riff Raff, Frank’s handyman and butler and the first person that Brad and Janet meet when they get to the house.

“Riff is not impressed by much and more than a little malicious,” Noble said. He also sings lead on one of the show’s most popular musical numbers, “The Time Warp.”

Noble said audience participation is what makes the show special.

Shout backs a plus

“They throw things, they use squirt guns, and of course, the shout backs. The shout backs are well-timed lines from the audience that coincide with the actors lines to enhance the humor of the show. It’s what makes Rocky so unique,” in addition to the late-night performances.

“There is nothing like a midnight performance of Rocky Horror,” he said. “The energy from the audience is palpable. People come in costume and the participation is hilarious. It is a really fun way to spend an evening.”

Renata Marino is cast as Columbia, Tony Marino is Eddie Dr. Scott and Courtney Harkins is Magenta.

A suggested age of 15 and up is recommended for those attending the show, Tony Marino said.