After enjoying a summer romance, high school students Danny and Sandy are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to Rydell High. There Sandy must contend with cynical Rizzo and the Pink Ladies in attempt to win Danny's heart again.
Recorded at London's Royal Court Theatre in front of an audience of faithful fans, various cast members from different productions of the Rocky Horror Show come together in a one off concert extravaganza paying tribute to the phenomenon.
It's true that there were dark storm clouds...
Describe your balls!
...heavy, black and pendulous... Curses upon you!... towards which they were driving. It's true also that the spare tire they were carrying was badly in need of...
Man in audience:
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In the BBC America version, it cut to black and the credits rolled as David Bedella and Richard O'Brien closed the doors. In the original UK theatrical version, the credits ran over a static wide shot of the stage and audience. See more »
If you're reading this, you likely already know the movie so I'll skip rehashing the plot. This version was recorded at the West End in London on September 17, 2015, and broadcast live to movie theatres across Europe before airing on BBC America a month later. The play follows the movie almost scene-for-scene and word-for-word, with one notable exception: Rocky himself is not a grunting, blonde, over-tanned Frankenstein but an actual Charles Atlas type (Dominic Andersen looks like sort of a cross between Christopher Reeve and Jim Carrey) who speaks and has some character development. There's also sparse bits of additional dialogue, the lost verse from "Over at the Frankenstein Place," and Brad's song "Once in a While," which ended up on the cutting room floor.
What makes this so much fun is that it IS a live performance. The audience yelled their standard responses at the cast and sometimes caught them off-guard, though several actors seemed to be delighting in egging on the crowd. After the play concluded, all of the actors (except Stephen Fry, who had to leave for another engagement) took to the stage for a few encores. Although its roots are clear, if you go in expecting a carbon copy of the film, you'll be disappointed. The tone is lighter, the music's peppier, and the cast got to directly interact with the audience.
David Bedella really shines in the role of Frank -- a daunting task since Tim Curry left such large high-heels to fill, but he knew the character intimately having previously performed it on stage. Other standouts are Kristian Lavercombe as Riff-Raff and Sophie Linder-Lee as Columbia. Jayde Westaby tried to make the part of Magenta her own, which yielded mixed results. Similarly Ben Forster plays the part of Brad less like Barry Bostwick and more like Seymore Kelbourne from "Little Shop of Horrors" - though it was hilarious watching him trying not to break character. Dominic Andersen was awesome as Rocky when he was speaking, flexing his muscles and doing acrobatics, but he made the bizarre choice to sing with a nasaly New Jersey accent. Haley Flaherty is a weaker link as Janet - her performance was okay and she's got a great set of pipes but she seemed to take the part a bit too seriously. As for Richard Meek in the dual roles of Eddie and Dr. Scott... he certainly isn't Meatloaf and he portrayed the doctor sans accent.
In a weird publicity stunt, the part of the criminologist was performed by a revolving door of British celebrities: Stephen Fry, Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice), Adrian Edmondson, Mel Giedroyc, Anthony Head, and creator Richard O'Brien. The standouts were Fry and Head, both of whom absolutely reveled in the audience participation. Edmondson was merely okay, Bunton added little to the proceedings (doing The Time Warp) and Giedroyc literally stopped the show for a gag that was too-inside for international viewers. Not surprisingly, the audience didn't have much to retort when O'Brien hit the stage... in part out of respect, but mostly because he'd rewritten the bulk of his dialogue for the scene.
All in all, this was a well-made, entertaining production of the show... and since there's never been a live version released on home video, I sincerely hope this one warps onto DVD and blu ray.
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