is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BCTC's Rocky Horror Cast & Crew Ready to Rock!

BCTC in collaboration with AGL Presents: The Rocky Horror Show

When I heard about Tim X Davis' plans to stage a BCTC production of The Rocky Horror Show last Fall on James Brown's radio show on WRFL, I immediately began to wonder what the community college's administration would think about the selection of such a controversial, yet oh, so popular show?  

So I dropped in on rehearsal last week at the Downtown Arts Center to see why and how all this shock and awe will happen, Davis reassured me that even the BCTC administration is ready to do the Time Warp...again.  He tells me, "I was a little worried initially, but that was alleviated when I told our Vice President of Academic Affairs we were doing the show, and he HIGH FIVED me! The administration, faculty, name it! They've all been really excited that we're tackling this thing."

Meredith Crutcher, Zach Dearing and Manny Wright

I have to admit, as I watched them rehearse last week at the DAC, it was tough for me to take notes, mainly because there's so much going on, it kept my ears on my toes.  I had to listen up because I didn't want to miss one line or moment, it's just that funny and that good.  However, when I wasn't cracking up at the cast's interpretation of this cult classic, I noticed the X-brand of peppering the show with updates -- for example, instead of doing the Madison, the cast performs the Macarena, etc. -- this is just one of many contemporary pop culture change-ups -- so I asked X, does he come up with those pop culture references or does the cast?
William Bates, Jim Gleason & Tim X Davis
Masterminds of Stage, Music & Hilarious Horror
"Well, it's not uncommon with this show to find places to improvise. I've known of productions where that's done to a much larger degree than what we're doing.  The dance reference you're referring to was Jared's bit, and I liked it, so I told him to run with it.  Those types of fun things can work fine in a show like Rocky -- I don't really add that kind of stuff in with 'straight' material, but a show like Rocky is sort of meant to be explored in that fashion. Now in what little bit of playwriting I've done (Peanut Gallery, etc) I sort of go out of my way to put those references in, as that's just kinda the syle of writing I like.  I love Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith, for instance, and the way those guys integrate pop culture references into their writing. So I guess that's where it comes from."

Alynne Miller (Janet) & Jared Sloan (Brad)
With the television hit Glee breathing new life into classic works like Rocky Horror, it's no surprise that it's being staged more than once this year - it will also be part of SummerFest's showcase in July -- but I asked X to explain why folks should come downtown next week to see his BicTic kids' version.  "Well, it's Rocky for goodness sake! And despite the fact that there are a couple of productions in the Bluegrass within six months of one another, it ISN'T done that often around here.  I think the last time was wayyyyyy back in the 90s!  So it's not an everyday occurrence.  It's also a ton of fun! Whether you have seen the film 200 times or you've NEVER seen it...seeing it in a truly live setting is going to be a real treat for everyone. I mean, come often do you actually get the opportunity to yell back at the stage or throw a roll of toilet paper at a performer?"  

(Note  -- BCTC is NOT allowing people to bring in props/etc. to throw, but they will distribute them to the crowd themselves...see below for details :) 

X adds that another marquee attraction is that cast will be supported musically by one of Lexington's most notable guitarists.  "Plus, Jim Gleason is doing the music -- need I say more?  I also have a tremendous cast assembled for this...and believe you me -- these people have worked their tails off on this one! We've put in more rehearsal hours for this than anything I've been involved with in a LONG time. Part of that just comes with the territory, but part of it that we're just having so much fun, we don't wanna stop! Hell, we've even been doing these big group movement exercises in rehearsal -- things like Laban, Michael Chekhov and lots of elemental work -- that I have sort of re-discovered through this process. For me as a teacher AND a director, it's been great! Many casts I've had over the last 15 years would've balked at doing this type of work at a rehearsal, but not these guys! They dive in head first and commit their asses off! And I love seeing that. And I'm telling you- that's gonna show up once we get this bad boy on the stage!"

"Jim Gleason is leading the band, and it includes Bill Fairchild, bass; Dave Hamon, drums; Harold Young, keyboards -- a great bunch, to be sure. They're gonna rock the house down!"

After popping in on rehearsal last week with photographer Tom Eisenhauer, it's easy to see why X is so enthusiastic about BCTC's production.  Everyone involved is having a great time -- there are familiar faces and new ones as well, which is something else we all love about Tim X Davis. He doesn't re-cast the same people over and over again in the same types of parts...rather, he creates new and quite delightful monsters with every show, and these performers are squeezing every bit of creepiness and laughter out of every scene.  Yes, it's great fun to watch Zach Dearing, Jared Sloan, Aly Miller, Pete Sears, Greg Jones, Manny Wright and Meredith Crutcher perform, as always, but it's also very cool to discover the new kids on the BicTic block, like wickedly wonderful Michael Baird and the sassy and sultry Suraya Shalash.  You'll see what I mean when the show opens on March 30th!  

(Photos courtesy of Thomas Eisenhaur)

Book, Music and Lyrics by: Richard O' Brien

**This production is not for the faint of heart. It is intended for mature aundiences only**
After becoming engaged, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss get stranded at the strange castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter after their car breaks down. They are then initiated into the strange world of the "Transsexual Transylvanians" and their customs.

Ticket Prices:
General Admission: $15
Students: $12
Tickets on sale NOW! Call the Lexarts box office at 225-0370 or go to

Narrator Pete Sears quips:
"Welcome back, Kentucky...Go Cats!"

Show Dates and Times:
March 30th: 7:30 pm
March 31st: 7:30 pm
April 1st: 7:30 pm
[APRIL 1ST: 12 am (Special Midnight Showing)]
April 2nd: 7:30pm

Meredith Crutcher IS Magenta!

ROCKY HORROR cast list
Narrator- Pete Sears
Brad Majors - Jared Sloan
Janet Weiss - Aly Miller
Riff Raff - Michael Baird
Magenta - Meredith Crutcher
Columbia - Suraya Shalash
Frank-n-Furter- Manny Wright
Rocky- Zach Dearing
Dr. Everett Scott- Greg Jones

Phantoms/ Transylvanians-
Jesseca Estes
Erica Chappell
Kelsey Barlow
Justin Arnold
Jordan West
Vasilisa Satisky
Larry Iaquinta

The "Rocky" Band:
Jim Gleason, musical director and guitar
Bill Fairchild, bass
Dave Hamon, drums
Harold Young, keyboards

Due to rules and regulations set by the DAC, items will not be allowed to be brought in for audience participation. INSTEAD such items will be handed out by ushers at the door during seating.


I'll be back with more updates as I talk to more of the players, i.e., golden-voiced Pete Sears, the "Narrator" and Emanuel "Manny" Wright, who brings a fresh new look to the role of Frank-N-Furter with his active involvement with every scene that graces his presence.  So stay tuned, and get ready to be rocked, horrified and tickled to death as Brad and Janet's Transylvanian adventure is brought to life with laughter and style in a way that has the Tim X Davis stamp all over it.  It's a quality production that will have you snickering and heckling in no time at all, and you'll be singing about sweet transvestites all the way home from the DAC.  

See you at the show,

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