REVIEW: Fun and Fantastic ‘Rocky Horror’ is a staple at Rock Island Speakeasy

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The latest incarnation of “Rocky Horror” from the Rock Island Speakeasy to sneak out of the lascivious basement of disrepute is an absolute must, tongue in cheek, tongues in cheeks, saucy riot. Driven in particular by the wonderfully sensual performance of narrator Doug “Dougie” Kutzli, the

Kiera Lynn Martin, Brad Hauskins, Kirsten Sindelar

powerful and sexy belt from Kira Rangel as Janet, and the wonderfully campy Anthony Hendricks as Frank N Furter, it’s an absolute blast, one of the funniest and funniest “Rocky’s” I’ve ever seen – and I have seen quite a few.

I’ve probably watched over a dozen “Rocky” productions over the years, and they’ve all had their sloppy, messy, raucous charms – and really, that’s what you want from them. You don’t want a primitive, decent “Rocky”, you want him to teeter on the precipice of an X-rated shit show, to fuel the energy and lust of the crowd. The latest incarnation of the Speakeasy gives you a conscious wink right off the bat that they’re definitely in for this expectation, that wink expertly delivered by the wonderfully slimy Kutzli, who slips onto the stage like a perverted Gildersleeve. , his mustache as plump as his. -liners.

Once considered risky, verboten, and too risky to be produced in Quad-Cities theatrical circles just decades

REVIEW: Fun and Fantastic 'Rocky Horror' is a staple at Rock Island Speakeasy

Will Crouch, Doug Kutzli, Anthony Hendricks

ago, “Rocky Horror” has grown into an annual tradition that has steadily sold theaters over the past decade. This is not surprising, given how much fun the experience is. And yes, it is an experience. It’s unlike any other live theater show you’re going to see – unless, of course, someone decides to put on a production of “Pink Flamingos” at some point.

Either you get it or you don’t. “Rocky Horror” is just one of those shows. And if you get it, man, you’ll want to get your tickets fast for that latest getaway, because you’re going to love it.

For those who may not have seen “Rocky”, describing it really doesn’t do it justice, but it’s my job to try it out, so buckle up for the ride. Before you recount this wicked ocean, you have to remember that this is a totally immersive show, a symbiotic creation between the audience and the performers. You have to feel it, you have to be there for it. It’s less about getting passively caught up in a story that is wacky at best, and more about all that idiocy is manifesting itself in the place that engulfs you.

The plot itself makes little or no sense. An engaged couple, Brad (Micah Bernas) and Janet (Rangel), find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere and decide to go to a nearby castle to see if they have a phone so they can call a tow truck, like, u know, you do it when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere in a place where castles are commonplace.

Once at the mansion, they meet the dark vampire Magenta (Kirsten Sindelar), her suspicious and scheming brother Riff Raff (Brad Hauskins), and their

REVIEW: Fun and Fantastic 'Rocky Horror' is a staple at Rock Island Speakeasy

Kira Rangel, Anthony Hendricks, Michée Bernas

mate, the sexy Columbia pixie (Kiera Lynn Martin). Under the guise of getting them out of their wet clothes, and before anything resembling a phone (okay, well, maybe a thing, but it’s not a phone) has seen the light of day, the duo strip down. and meets the castle owner, transvestite / alien / mad scientist Frank N Furter (Hendricks), who takes them on a journey that oscillates between the erotic, the bizarre, and something inspired by one of the DMT journeys. by Joe Rogan.

Along the way, a zombie biker, Eddie (Nick Munson) comes into the picture, as does a cute “Frankenstein monster” boy (Will Crouch, who looks remarkably like a much more muscular version of Cameron from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” ), and a German wheelchair UFO scientist / investigator (again played by Munson). Something is happening about Frank N Furter creating the monster Buff as a husband, he kills Eddie who was his ex, breaks his Columbia heart, two of the characters wanting to return to their home planet on “Transsexual Transylvania”, a secret government investigation is a side plot, and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff that’s basically

REVIEW: Fun and Fantastic 'Rocky Horror' is a staple at Rock Island Speakeasy

Anthony Hendricks, Will Crouch

a global parody and pamphlet of the 50s pop culture crackdown, wrapped up in a bunch of sex jokes, naughty scenes and naughty subject matter.

Oh, and there’s a bunch of rockabilly and 50s-style music-style numbers strewn all over the place to ostensibly explain what’s going on, but much of it is just an excuse for some high-energy dance numbers and spooky choreography. and hilarious.

I don’t know how to describe it otherwise. I mean, really, it all sounds crazy, because IT IS. Again, it’s not “Chinatown” or “Inception”, it’s not about the intrigue, it’s about the fun, the experience, the awkwardness and risky camp of it. this. Like I said, either you will have it or you will not have it. But if you haven’t seen it you should, because it’s a one of a kind experience.

Now, for those of you who ARE NOT “Rocky” virgins, the question you’re probably asking yourself at this point is, “Would you please pass the Doritos?” “

Yes. Yes. Here they are.

And your next question is probably, “When the hell are you going to finally get to the point, Sean?” Is it good or not? “

Good question. I like where your head is. Here is your answer: “Now impatient bastards!” “

REVIEW: Fun and Fantastic 'Rocky Horror' is a staple at Rock Island Speakeasy

Kiera Lynn Martin, Brad Hauskins, Anthony Hendricks, Kirsten Sindelar

Your follow-up question? “Well, is it good? “

Answer, as I mentioned before: it’s fantastic.

One of the things that stands out from this version of “Rocky” is the quality of the musicianship of the singers. In most of the “Rocky” versions that I’ve seen, the music has been secondary, to be honest, and sometimes as singers the actors have been really good actors. They got through the musical numbers limiting the range of songs and delivering them with such enthusiasm that it didn’t really matter.

Not this time. These singers can BELT.

Rangel is absolutely amazing – a wonderful singer with a great lineup. Hauskins really hits all the notes, no matter how hard, with Riff Raff, and pulls them with panache. Munson is also an incredibly talented singer, and Hendricks sings Frank’s numbers with charisma and power.

In terms of capturing their characters, each actor is wonderfully cast. Director Tristan “Not Dougie” Tapscott did a great job lining up the talent for this show and using it to the max.

Hendricks is an imposing and impressive Frank N Furter, perfectly capturing his insolence. Rangel gently balances innocence and sensuality as Janet. Bernas is hilarious and straightforward like Brad. Sindelar is form-fitting and spiky like the dark comic Magenta. Hauskins’ Riff Raff seems constantly exasperated and returns to the creepy vibes of the movie version. Martin’s Columbia has a manic pixie charm reminiscent of Teri Garr. Munson is fantastic both as Eddie and as a cowardly teacher. Crouch makes a wonderful, underrated physical comedy as Doofy Rocky. And Kutzli sticks it all together with his kinky, hilarious take on the narrator.

Tapscott’s staging, as always, is inventive and fun, using the place in creative ways. And while there were a few moments, I thought it needed a little more ‘oomph’, like Frank’s entry (which should be a lot more masterful and BIG) and the ‘Time Warp’, which is such a HUGE number of ENERGY that he felt too much

REVIEW: Fun and Fantastic 'Rocky Horror' is a staple at Rock Island Speakeasy

Anthony hendricks

confined to stage, I still love the interesting and unorthodox ways he presents the material.

And really, that’s what I love about “Rocky,” and shows like that. And what I like about theater and performance in general.

There is such a thrill and electricity to know that you are going on a trip with everyone to the theater that will only be undertaken once in your life. No matter how many times the show is staged, it will only be staged like this, with these nuances, decisions and actions, ONLY ONE time in particular.

With a spectacle as lawless as “Rocky”, which can go in so many different directions, which can deviate from the path and crash so many times before coming back madly on the road with a warm roar and a vigorous scream, there is an incredible thrill. You are going to see something crazy with every show, you are going to see something new and inventive and funny and unique and crazy and priceless.

And I’d rather see that, rather see the orgy between glare and chaos, each time, over a dozen pristine performances from an old glue horse like “Sound of Music” or “Seven Child Abducted Brides For Seven Inbred Hillbilly Brothers “for the umpteenth fucking time.

But it’s just me. And maybe it is you. And if so, boy, I have the show for you. “Rocky Horror.” GO SEE HIM.

Here are your schedules and everything (don’t say I never did anything for you, and while you’re at it, give me those Doritos …):

Friday 22 October
Doors: 6:00 a.m., Show: 7:15 a.m. (18 years old and over)
Doors: 10:00 a.m., Show: 11:00 a.m. (21 years old and over)

saturday 23 october
Doors: 6:00 a.m., Show: 7:15 a.m. (18 years old and over)
Doors: 10:00 a.m., Show: 11:00 a.m. (21 years old and over)

Sunday October 24 (One show)
Doors: 5:00 p.m., Show: 6:00 p.m. (18 years old and over)

Friday 29 October
Doors: 6:00 a.m., Show: 7:15 a.m. (18 years old and over)
Doors: 10:00 a.m., Show: 11:00 a.m. (21 years old and over)

Friday October 30
Doors: 6:00 a.m., Show: 7:15 a.m. (18 years old and over)
Doors: 10:00 a.m., Show: 11:00 a.m. (21 years old and over)

Sunday October 31
Doors: 5:00 p.m., Show: 6:00 p.m. (18 years old and over)

ALL TICKETS ARE $ 25 IN ADVANCE AND $ 30 ON THE DAY OF THE SHOW.
Make your reservations online at www.thecirca21speakeasy.com or by calling 309-786-7733 ext. 2.
REVIEW: Fun and Fantastic 'Rocky Horror' is a staple at Rock Island Speakeasy

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has written professionally since his debut at the age of 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. A graduate with honors from the University of Southern California’s master’s program, he has written over 50 books, including best-selling books The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone, and We Are All Characters.


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