Dinner Theater’s Rocky Horror has audiences ‘shivering with anticipation’

Based+on+the+film+version+of+%E2%80%9CThe+Rocky+Horror+Picture+Show%2C%E2%80%9D+the+UTEP+Dinner+theatre+will+be+performing+%E2%80%9CThe+Rocky+Horror+Show-Live+On+Stage%21%E2%80%9D+which+centers+on+a+couple+whose+car+breaks+down%2C+and+finds+themselves+at+the+castle+of+Dr.+Frank-Furter%2C+a+transvestite+from+the+planet+transsexual+who+is+trying+to+create+the+perfect+man.++Photo+courtesy+of+the+UTEP+Dinner+Theatre.

Based on the film version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the UTEP Dinner theatre will be performing “The Rocky Horror Show-Live On Stage!” which centers on a couple whose car breaks down, and finds themselves at the castle of Dr. Frank-Furter, a transvestite from the planet transsexual who is trying to create the perfect man. Photo courtesy of the UTEP Dinner Theatre.

Kristen Scheaffer, Contributor

As the UTEP Dinner Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary, the Rocky Horror Show opened, selling out seats to El Paso. What is a fan-favorite for this time of year, the show is based on the 1975 cult-classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” by Richard O’Brien, starring Tim Curry.  

“Rocky Horror Show” tells the story of the newly engaged Brad and Janet, who become stranded after a flat tire. Their night takes a turn when they discover the home of Dr. Frank N’Furter and his servants. Brad and Janet learn to navigate their own urges, as the night introduces more characters from the “far-away” Transexual, Transylvania.   

Whether El Pasoans attend the dinner performances or the participatory nights, they will not be bored. Even before the opening notes of song “Science Fiction,” the audience is engaged by the ensemble “phantoms,” setting the tone for the wild ride that is “Rocky Horror Show.”   

Numbers that really stood out to me were the iconic “Time Warp,” “Eddie’s Teddy” and the “Floor Show.” I could not get enough of Jada Ward’s voice during “Science Fiction,” and I hope to see her in future productions.   

The show has a strong, talented cast that can transform its audience into regular Frankie fans. Ward and Daniel Adrian Maciel as Riff-Raff stand out with their vocals and their chemistry together as the brother-sister duo.   

Allen Thompson’s Frank N’Furter was smooth and charismatic, drawing the audience in with every word. Elise Mckenna Herndon, who plays Janet, and John Levick, who plays Brad, had a stage presence that went beyond shining brightly.   

Isabella Candelaria’s Columbia was simply electric, while Peter Fogel embodied Rocky.   

 The only critique I have is during the performances of “The Sword of Damocles” and “Hot Patootie” where the vocals of Fogel and Zaid Ricarte, who plays Eddie, did not project loud enough in some parts. However, this did not stop the energy from overflowing at the show.  

I highly recommend checking out the UTEP Dinner Theatre’s “Rocky Horror Show” for a night of unadulterated fun for the Halloween season. I give this performance a nine out of 10, and I plan to see it again before the show disappears for the year.  

“Rocky Horror Show” extended its performances due to the popularity of the production. Non-participatory dinner shows can be caught on Oct. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and Nov. 2, 3, 4. Special “Audience Participatory” shows can be viewed Oct. 28, 30, 31, and Nov. 5 and 6 located at Union Building West, Room 207.   

 

Kristen Scheaffer is a contributor and can be reached at [email protected]