'Rocky Horror Picture Show:' Two Performances in One

“Some of the things the audience participates with are so funny and often really crude. It's hard not to break character and laugh along with them,” says actor Bobby Malley ’20, who will play Brad in the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Presented by the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, this cult classic will come to the Adams Pool Theater on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18.

In this classic tale, a newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet (Sara Bobok ’19), find themselves stuck in the rain when their car breaks down. Looking for help, they come to a castle that is owned by Dr. Frank N. Furter (Patric C. Verrone ’18), a transvestite doctor who just so happens to be throwing a party unrelated to Brad and Janet’s arrival. During the festivities, Dr. Frank N. Furter reveals his greatest creation yet, Rocky Horror (Henry R. Lynch ’20), a man created to sexually please his master, and declares that he will be returning to Transylvania. Meanwhile, Riff Raff (Ben G. Cort ’18) and Magenta (Sumner N. Perera ’19), the house butler and maid, take the opportunity to reveal their true intention: leaving the planet.

While some audience members are sure to be familiar with the show’s 1975 film version or theater performances, HRDC promises a unique experience that synchronizes and showcases features of both the film and live adaptations, all on one stage. This fusion did not come without challenges. “Figuring out how to stage with the movie behind the actors so that the actors are creating characters anew at the same time that they are honoring older performances is difficult,” says co-director Julia E. Belanoff ’18.

Despite the strangeness of the show itself, the Rocky Horror Picture Show engages relevant themes. “A lot of the show is science fiction,” says Perera. “Planets, aliens. It’s very strange and weird. But even in that craziness and in this world, I think there are a lot of elements of truth within it. Specifically, the show talks about an awakening of your sexuality, becoming more free and truthful with yourself.”

By the end of the musical, co-director Verrone, who also wrote a column for the Crimson, hopes the show will inspire audience members to act upon their dreams. “Don’t let your dreams just be dreams,” says Verrone. “Actually go out there and enact them. Create things. Create the being that you want to be.”