Don’t dream it, see it

“Rocky Horror Show” opens in Foley

By Allison Marlow
Posted 10/22/21

The crew here spends many rehearsals yelling at the actors from the dark and empty rows of seats.

The lead character dons spikey, glittering heels that teeter at a stunning seven inches tall. It …

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Don’t dream it, see it

“Rocky Horror Show” opens in Foley

Posted

The crew here spends many rehearsals yelling at the actors from the dark and empty rows of seats.

The lead character dons spikey, glittering heels that teeter at a stunning seven inches tall. It took three months to perfect that stage-ready saunter.

And the muscle-clad namesake of the production is a gal in a plastic muscle suit.

Preparations for a production of “The Rocky Horror Show” are unlike most other stage shows.

The musical, written by Richard O’Brien, debuted on Broadway in 1973 and became a cult classic after the release of the film version featuring Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry and Meatloaf in 1975. Its magnetic draw and rabid fan base crossed generations as a trip to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” became a rite of passage for many teens.

Next week Exit Stage Left will lift the curtain on the first performance of the musical in Baldwin County in recent memory. The newly formed theatre troupe, based in Foley, chose the show because organizers said it represents theater’s mission.

“We wanted something that really spoke to an underappreciated part of our community,” said Chase S. Morrisette, director of performance for Exit Stage Left.

“A lot of people find themselves as outcasts or feel they really don’t have a place. Rocky Horror is about self-discovery and accepting who you are,” he said.

Exit Stage Left promotes an idea of inclusion across its productions and programming, reaching across ethnic, religious, and gender boundaries. Morrisette said the theater aims to include anyone who wants take part.

In “Rocky Horror” part of that inclusion means playing with gender identity, Morrisette said. Many of the traditional male roles, such as Dr. Scott, Rocky and Eddie will be played by women. Morrisette said the cast looked to context clues from the countless sequels written by O’Brien to better understand the characters and develop their personalities and motives.

But fear not, the campiness remains.

“The same jokes, the same group of characters, all the audience shout-outs and those lovely little gems are still there,” Morrisette said.

If it’s been a decade or two since you last headed out for a midnight showing, brush up on those ques and take a listen to the younger audience members around you. Morrisette said there are new shoutouts and props that have been added by the youngest Rocky fans.

“Whenever the new generation gets involved they always come up with their own,” he said.

While audience participation is encouraged, no outside props are allowed due to civic center rules. Prop bags will be for sale at the door for $10. Concessions will also be available at intermission, including a non-alcoholic specialty drink created by the show by Orange Beach Nutrition.