Director Michael P. Watkins of Actors Cabaret of Eugene brings a steampunk twist to Richard O’Brien’s cult musical The Rocky Horror Show and, of course, the performance will make you wish you’d donned your fishnets and black lace corset.
Unsuspecting newlyweds Janet (Hailey Henderson) and Brad (Benjamin Sanders) open the show’s wild ride with a tale of young love. Dammit, Janet, you should have known life is never as simple it seems. The pair faces car trouble while en route to visit former high school science teacher, Dr. Scott (Scott Machado).
A freak storm drenches the innocent lovebirds as they trudge to the front steps of Frank-N-Furter’s (Anthony Krall) castle. Wet and dazed, Janet and Brad are welcomed into Furter’s home by Riff Raff (Cody Mendonca), lead hunchback and right-hand man.
Brad and Janet’s first impression of Furter and the Transylvanians’ ways is akin to one’s first glimpse of soft-core porn on a staticky late-night cable channel. Try as they might to repress their curiosity, something animalistic draws them into the whirlwind of discovering their own sexuality.
Magenta’s (Jenny Parks) high notes and vixen appeal alongside Columbia’s (Traci Knights) sultry swagger lure the lovers in like bees to honeysuckle. Before you can wrap your brain around the cast’s electric version of “Time Warp,” the company has already begun to indulge themselves in caressing, groping and dry humping from stage left to stage right.
But alas, sexuality is no easy journey, especially when a science experiment gone handsome and co-dependent is a part of the mix. Furter has finally created his perfect monster, Rocky (Fehmi Yasin), who has abs for days, bulging biceps and is impeccably well-endowed. As the plot thickens, writhes and squeals, the cast reveals lust triangles and ulterior motives.
It’s fuckery at its musical finest.
By the last songs of the second act, you’ll either be squirming or dancing along to the catchy renditions of pop-culture classics performed by a truly talented cast. Depending on how vanilla your sex life is, you may even pick up some new tricks for the bedroom — or dungeon.
The Rocky Horror Show runs 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Nov. 5 at Actors Cabaret of Eugene; $16-$48.95. Visit actorscabaret.org/rocky-horror.