WILSON, N.C. — If you missed it earlier this year, have no fear; “The Rocky Horror Show” is coming back to Barton College! This campy comedy musical is a tribute to the golden age of B-movies, and is packed with complex themes and raucous scenes. A smash hit when it debuted in April, the Theatre at Barton production returns for encore performances on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2-3, in Kennedy Family Theatre. Evening performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m., followed by midnight showings each night. Despite its light-hearted and self-deprecating nature, this musical is intended for mature audiences.
A cult classic by Richard O’Brien, “The Rocky Horror Show” is a throwback to science fiction and horror B-movies of the 1950s and 1960s. The original production made its U.S. premiere in 1974 at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, and starred legendary actor Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N. Furter. In Act I, audience members meet Brad and Janet, two sweethearts lost in the woods under stormy darkness. Soon, they find themselves in rather apprehensive company with an eccentric, cross-dressing mad scientist and his equally peculiar gang of sidekicks. Dr. Frank reveals to the lovebirds his latest (and titular) creation, before events take a truly out-of-this-world turn for the worse. Theatre at Barton’s production is based on the 25th Anniversary Revival, which first appeared on Broadway in 2000.
Sherry Lee Allen, artist-in-residence for musical theatre at Barton and director of this production, believes that “Rocky Horror” captures the art of live theatre. “Theatre is a very collaborative atmosphere that exists for all participants,” she explains. “It is a showcase of talent and artistic development. It is creative, and most importantly, inclusive. In society, there is an enormous amount of ridicule, bullying, judging, and discrimination. To quote Frank N. Furter, ‘Don’t get strung out by the way I look. Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ I hope that our audiences will attend with an open mind, appreciate the fun, and participate in all the outrageous silliness that was originally intended.”
Allen reminds guests that the show does not take itself too seriously, so there is plenty of room for laughter and acceptance. “It’s just a jump to the left and then a step to the right!” she says, quoting a line from one of the musical’s most famous numbers.
It is not uncommon for theatregoers to utilize props (rice, water guns, burnt toast, etc.) during live stage and film performances of “The Rocky Horror Show.” While Allen welcomes and encourages audience participation, she asks guests to refrain from throwing items at the performers, for the safety of everyone in the theatre.
Tickets may be purchased online at barton.edu/theatre. Adult general admission tickets are $10; $8 for seniors and military; $6 for non-Barton students; and free for Barton students, faculty, and staff. For additional information, please contact Twiss at (252) 399-6484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.