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Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, October 26, 2000

Don Ranney
From left, Jillian King, Ryan Torigoe and Nathaniel
Pulkrabek star in "The Rocky Horror Show."

Even LCC’s doing
the Time Warp again

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Call it luck. Call it a case of great minds thinking alike. Call it an example of anticipating the obvious. Just as the world is celebrating the 25th anniversary of original film version of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" with the release of a new video/DVD package, Leeward Community College is presenting the show in its original stage musical form, "The Rocky Horror Show."

"It's been a different kind of production in terms of what I have to think about, but (choreographer) Peter Rockford Espiritu and (costume designer) Sami Akuna live that movie and they know it inside and out, It's just amazing what it does to people," says Kathleen Cabral, LCC's theater manager and program coordinator.

Cabral admits to being a "virgin," the term used by "Rocky Horror" fans for anyone who has never experienced a live performance of the piece. "Rocky Horror" was introduced as musical theater in London and Los Angeles in the early '70s. It didn't evolve into an audience-participation spectacle until it became a film that barely grossed $450,000 in its first six months of release.

The story of what happened when two innocents named Brad and Janet blundered into the castle laboratory of mad scientist/ alien/transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter wasn't mainstream fare in 1975, but by the next year, the film had won a small, loyal following in L.A. It starred Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter, Barry Bostwick as Brad and Susan Sarandon as Janet.

At that time, 20th Century Fox was willing to do anything to recoup their production costs and arranged for a midnight showing on April Fools Day in Greenwich Village. Months later, "Rocky Horror" was a late-night hit in many other cities, including Honolulu.

Audience participation became part of the experience within a year. So did dressing as Frank-N-Furter or one of his assistants, Magenta, Columbia or the surly Riff Raff, who were more colorful than the straitlaced Brad and Janet.

The experience also came to include a lengthy list of items that tie into events in the story including rice, a squirt gun, a lighter, a deck of cards, toast, hot dogs orsausages and a newspaper.

This weekend, "virgins" will be able to join "Rocky Horror" veterans in cheering and/or verbally abusing Frank-N-Furter (RyanTorigoe), Brad (Nate Pulkrabek), Janet (Jillian King), Magenta (Laura Brucia), Columbia (JanDee Abraham), Riff Raff (Kris Derego), Eddie (Keoni Kaawa), Rocky (Kent Alverio), Dr. Scott (Charlie Hill) and The Narrator (Dan Furst).

Cabral said, "Our set designer (Donald Ranney) saw a stage production in London this summer and said a lot of the British audience was very quiet so we've actually cast ushers who will be in the lobby greeting people, getting them in the spirit, passing out the participation kits (and) then they'll be in the audience as our plants.

"I'm hoping this works out well. I convinced Paul to open before Halloween and I just hope that everybody has a good time."

On stage

Bullet What: "The Rocky Horror Show"
Bullet Date: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Nov. 3 and 4
Bullet Place: Leeward Community College Theatre
Bullet Tickets: $15; discounts for students, active military and elderly
Bullet Call: 455-0385

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