Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Slow Burn Theatre: The Rocky Horror Show (2 reviews)

Slow Burn Theatre Company revived its production of The Rocky Horror Show on October 21, 2011, for a brief, two-week run.  The show ran in the same slot last year.
We've left a light on for you. Return back to everybody's favorite fall vacation spot..the Frankenstein place. Slow Burn is remounting their crowd pleasing favorite The Rocky Horror Show LIVE!!! Christine Dolen of the Miami Herald called this production "RED HOT". But it's your last chance to see what all the fuss is about before we put this show back in the lab. Complete with audience participation. Slow Burn Theatre will have all ages doing the time-warp again!
Patrick Fitzwater directed a cast that included Larry Buzzeo, Noah Levine, Alexa Capiello, Renata Eastlick, Rick Peña, Miguel Quintero, Anne Chamberlain, Clay Cartland, and Matthew Korinko.  Musical Direction by Phil Hinton, Scenery by Ian T. Almeida, lights by Lane Blank, sound by Traci Almeida, and costumes by Rick Peña.

John LaRiviere reviewed for Talkin' Broadway:
This well done production is sure to titillate timid theatergoers and satisfy the seasoned "Rocky" aficionados as well.
Larry Buzzeo is perfect as Dr. Frank 'N' Furter. His energy is endless, and he somehow manages to maintain a small degree of masculinity even in the makeup, bustier and heels. Those who have seen the film will note how strongly his performance is influenced by that of Tim Curry—in all the right ways.

Lindsey Forgey as Janet and Noah Levine as Brad work convincingly as the unassuming ingénues duped into the decadent world of Frank 'N' Furter. Miguel Quintero as Rocky looks every muscled-inch the part of Frank 'N' Furter's fantasy of the perfect man, though his acting and singing need a bit of polishing. Nicole Piro has the right feel for the evening from her very first line as the Usherette foreshadowing the events of the double-feature evening ahead. She seems mischievous rather than menacing—leaving the darker side for the tale waiting to unfold.

Patrick Fitzwater provides very clean direction, and more choreography than one would expect from this show. His use of the of three male and three female "Phantoms" in as many numbers as possible adds greatly to the show. The live four-piece band, led by music director Phil Hinton, keeps the score under control without letting the guitar and percussion run over the singers. The sound levels between the singers and the band are also perfectly balanced. The clean sound for this show means the only lines one may miss hearing are the ones shouted over by rowdy audience members.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theatre On Stage:
This paean to hedonism doesn’t need a critic’s affirmation. It is exactly what it wants to be: big, silly, mindless, nose-thumbing, irreverent fun. Yes, it’s a bit sloppy, and yes, the actual script sort of meanders and peters out. But this spoof of horror and cheesy sci-fi flicks that is at least one generation older than many revelers in its midnight audience is the dictionary definition of a hoot.
Any Rocky rises and falls and rises again on the re-animation of the Dr. Frank N. Furter, the sweet transvestite from Transylvania (the planet not the country).  Slow Burn wisely rehired Larry Buzzeo (I’ll bet no one dared stand in his way for this role) who seems born to don the fishnet stockings, spiked heels and glitter red lipstick. His prancing and pouting and come hither glances gave the show its necessary center. He didn’t embrace the campiness; he wallowed in it. Best of all, he’s got the belter’s voice to bend and bounce the lyrics off the back wall.
In fact, strong voices were scattered throughout the cast from Rick Pena’s ominous assistant Riff-Raff to Anne Chamberlain’s tap-dancing Columbia to Noah Levine’s out-of-his depth Brad to Lindsey Forgey’s winsome Janet, and especially, Nicole Piro’s double duty as the singing Usherette and insinuating Magenta.
Director Patrick Fitzwater kept the proceedings moving. But his real accomplishment was the daffy choreography that seemed stolen from a dozen MGM musicals.

Pena also scored with the color-drenched costumes, heavy on the boas and bustiers – and that was just for the men in the cast.

If the evening slowed a few times, there was never a let up from the propulsive band led by Phil Hinton.
Slow Burn Theatre Company's production of The Rocky Horror Show closes on October 29, 2011.

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