By Kate McAlister
From the moment the actors walked down the aisle at the Panida, I was engaged.
For me, “The Rocky Horror Show” is indeed a time warp to another great theater memory at Idaho State University in 1975. It was a different world back then, but thankfully some things remain the same, like “The Rocky Horror Show.” The same quirky, crazy characters are all still in great form and brought to life by a very talented group of actors under the direction of Jesus Quintero.
If you are a “Rocky Horror” novice, I imagine this sounds a bit confusing, so I’ll give you the gist. A lovely, innocent couple, Brad (Michael Clarke), and Janet (Keely Gray), are forced to seek help after their car breaks down—of course in the middle of the night. The closet place with a light in the window is a creepy old castle complete with a pansexual mad scientist, Frank N. Furter (Jeremiah Bigley) and his devoted staff, Riff Raff (Eddie McDonnell), Magenta (Skye Palmer) and Columbia (Alex Cope). We can’t forget Dr. Frank N. Furter’s creation, the muscle-bound and very sexy Rocky Horror (Eric Bond). Through the chaos and confusion, Brad and Janet’s love is put to the test as they partake in Dr. Furter’s evening of revelry.
So why did Quintero choose “The Rocky Horror Show,” especially considering he did the dark and amazing Frankenstein last Halloween?
“When I pick a show, I try to read where we are in terms of society, in terms of the community,” he said. “I don’t think theater should do political statements, but it is indeed a political act, in terms of it does have a relationship in society. So I thought what would be important for us to think and to talk about right now, and I thought ‘freedom’ would be a good topic. And when I thought of Halloween and Sandpoint, I wanted to have a show that gives the possibility of peo-ple to play, to experience. And then I started thinking we need a play that also brings experien-tial feelings to the audience.”
This play certainly does just that thanks to some really great acting. I was especially impressed with Jeremiah Bigley as Dr. Frank N. Furter. I have worked with Bigley in “Mousetrap,” and the infamous “Hunt for Pend Oreille Paddler” (you are welcome, Ben), but to see him in this part was spectacular. When he walks on the stage, he is Furter. His confidence is astounding con-sidering he’s wearing fishnets, a garter belt and a bustier. He absolutely nails the role: his voice, his movements, everything, gives Tim Curry a run for his money. I just might have a new favor-ite Furter.
Clarke and Gray play a convincing Brad and Janet and work well off one another. Their songs are sweet and memorable. Palmer (Magenta ) and Cope (Columbia ) are fun to watch, and I loved their voices.
Palmer and Bigley are two young people to keep an eye on. I see big things for them if they de-cide to make theater their career.
Last but not least, you really haven’t seen anything until you see Bond as Rocky Horror, com-plete with his gold lame short shorts and nothing else. He is really fun to watch and brings a great energy to the part of Dr. Furter’s creation. Who knew Bond could sing? Everyone will, after this performance.
Come experience a raucous, disorderly fun time you soon won’t forget, especially if you partici-pate in the fun. Audience members are encouraged to wear costumes and interact when invited. This show uses the entire theater, including attendees, to make magic happen. And while it’s been toned down a bit, it’s still rated R, according to the Panida website.
If you don’t have tickets, you should purchase them now before they sell out. Performances are Oct. 29, 30 and 31. For those attending the Friday performance there will be a special surprise well worth the ticket price. Tickets can be purchased online at www.Panida.org and are $18.50 and $21.50. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
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