Welcome To The Castle
Terence Sullivan as Frank N. Furter. Photo by Adam Ewing.
Jase Smith wants you to remove all preconceived notions from your mind of the campy 1970s flick where you may have thrown rice, toast, and any other food item.
As director of the Firehouse Theatre Project’s upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show, Smith is bringing the production back to its original London roots with some modern twists.
“That whole character of the transvestite [Frank N. Furter] has become a clown today. People time warp at weddings.” he said. ”We’re trying to take it back to that original London – where it was something that was shocking…[back then] these things haven’t been seen in the stage before.”
Brad and Janet still just need to use a phone — but instead of aliens, you’ll be introduced to drug and bondage culture in a nightclub called The Castle. Music has been deconstructed with elements of punk, dance, pop and new wave.
The “Time Warp?” It’s there.
“It is the slickest dance choreographed number that I’ve ever had in one of my shows – but there will not be a step to the left or a jump to the right…but there will be a lot of dancing going on.”
Smith said people have specific ideas of who these characters are because of popular culture.
“I like to defy expectation – if the audience sees exactly what they’re expecting, they might as well stayed at home and watched the movie,” he said. ”I always want to make a show relatable to Richmond.”
At a Tuesday night rehearsal, the choreographer stops to ask a member of the ensemble, “What’s your character?”
“Sassy twink,” he replies.
“Can you do that more sexy?”
Set in an S&M club, this production plays on the original’s sexual themes. Take a look at the preview video.
Too hot for Richmond?
“The first pass at our promotional video, we had to edit it down…maybe I’m desensitized,” Smith said. ”I want people to know coming in that this is what they’re getting. They’re not getting that campy experience.”
“You’re going to see people getting whipped. You’re going to see full bondage gear. That’s not to shock anyone personally – I think everyone in their own lives has experience with something that’s a little kinky…”
“It could be the person sitting next to you in the audience because they don’t wear their gimp mask to work.”
Something to think on.
The Rocky Horror Show is Jul 19 through Aug. 19 at the Firehouse Theatre Project, 1609 W. Broad St. For tickets and showtimes, visit http://www.firehousetheatre.org/.
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Frank Britton is beyond creepy in his role as Mr. Roat.October 1, 2014
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