Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:48

"The Rocky Horror Show" a Delightful Success

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The cast of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" puts on a freaky, delightful show for its audience. The cast of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" puts on a freaky, delightful show for its audience. Peter Hanley photo

The Hewitt Union Ballroom at SUNY Oswego was brought to life for a second weekend with the school’s production of the raucous musical, “The Rocky Horror Show.”

Following a sold-out debut weekend, the show packed the ballroom for a second weekend and entertained the crowd with its quirky, risqué humor and lavish musical numbers. The show excels from the performances of a strong and talented cast, its beautifully weird costumes and elaborate makeup.

The stage for the show is simple yet effective. It is set up to resemble a multilayered catwalk with minimal set decoration. The floor surrounding the stage and even the aisles of audience seating are also utilized during the performance. This serves to fully immerse the audience in the production and also encourages participation. 

Before the show even began, there were goody bags for sale in the lobby with various props and instructions to use for audience participation. The actual musical began with a pre-show tutorial from some of the ensemble players on how to properly use the goody bags, when to participate and how to dance one of the signature dances of the show.IMG 6091

Following the instructions, the show kicked off with a simple musical number, “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” that saw members of the cast dressed up as movie theatre ushers and giving the audience hints of what they are in for before the real action begins.

The story focuses on newly engaged couple Brad and Janet, played by Anthony Sagrestano and Megan VanVorce respectively. The couple is driving to visit an old friend when their car gets a flat tire, leaving them stranded. Searching for a phone to call a mechanic, the couple stumbles upon an old castle. 

Once at the castle, Brad and Janet are greeted by a maid named Magenta, played by Amanda Joseph, and a hunchback butler named Riff Raff, portrayed by Jesse Lessner. The duo welcomes Brad and Janet to the castle in the night’s most fun song and dance number, “The Time Warp.” The song featured audience instruction by a wild narrator, portrayed by Nicholas Cocks, and some exceptional tap dancing led by another occupant of the castle, Columbia, played by Clarissa Bawarski. The song was such a hit it received a short reprise at the end of the show, which got even more audience members up and dancing.

Following “The Time Warp,” Brad and Janet are introduced to the owner of the castle, Dr. Frank-N-Furter through the song “Sweet Transvestite.” Josh Dobbin brilliantly portrays Frank-N-Furter. He shines in the role, bringing strong vocals and a confident charm that leaves the audience in awe.

IMG 0085It is revealed the strange doctor has been hard at work creating the perfect specimen of a man to enjoy, and he is ready to reveal his work tonight. The result of Frank’s work is a blonde Adonis he names Rocky, played with absolute ham by Spencer Ventresca.

From there, the show falls into one zany situation after another, involving aliens, a science professor and a delivery boy. Though the storyline is not always clear and the action tends to be confusing with all of the zany twists and turns it takes, the audience is never disappointed. “The Rocky Horror Show” keeps the fun coming and the audience laughing throughout, with its strong acting and wild imagination.

The show will hold its final performances on Nov. 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and a final matinee on Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be picked up at a SUNY Oswego box office location or online at

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