The UNH Theater Program left the audience in tears of laughter with their racy rendition of The Rocky Horror Show.
The University of New Haven Theater Program’s production of The Rocky Horror Show premiered on Nov. 12 in Bucknall Theater at 8 p.m.
The musical, directed by Jonathan Yukich, was a success and even garnered a standing ovation. The Rocky Horror Show, a musical written by Richard O’Brien, has captured audiences since its inception in the early 1970s. The musical is a humorous tribute to science fiction and horror films produced in the 1940s. It tells the story of a newly engaged couple who find refuge from a storm in the home of a mad transvestite scientist and his new creation, a muscle man named Rocky.
The theater program’s take of the cult musical classic, which features songs “Sweet Transvestite” and “Time Warp,” showed five times: Nov. 12, 13, 14, and 15 at 8 p.m. and again on Nov. 14 at 11:30 p.m.
The cast, made up mostly of seniors, included David Ransbottom as Brad Majors, Shannon Whitaker as Janet Weiss, Tyler Prigionieri as Riff Raff and Leann Boisvert as his sister, Magenta. Zachary Fontanez sported fishnet stockings and heels as Frank ‘N’ Furter and Joshua Dill donned a gold speedo as Rocky. Zachary Smith-Grabko narrated the show, delivering hilarious insight throughout the night.
Prigionieri, who played Riff Raff in the show, has been involved in four shows with the UNH Theater Program, but says Rocky Horror was his favorite.
“The script in general was a challenge for me as an actor,” Prigionieri said. “I really had to appreciate and understand the text in order to present the Riff Raff I did on stage. It was a challenge that brought me to realize how much I really do have a passion for the theatre; Riff Raff was a pleasure to perform.”
Audience participation was encouraged at the 11:30 p.m. performance on Nov. 14. Keychain flashlights were attached to the back of each seat in Bucknall Theater for audience members to wave during the performance of “Over at the Frankenstein Place.” The audience was also invited on stage after the curtain call to dance the “Time Warp” with the cast and crew.
The cast and crew had been working on this show since Sept. 4 under the direction of Yukich, rehearsing for long hours in Bucknall Theater.
“The crew began initial work on the set, such as bringing in lumber, collecting and creating props and working on measurements on Sept. 25,” said Keegan O’Connor, a member of the cast who helped build and paint the set for Rocky Horror. O’Connor has been part of thirteen shows both with UNH and within her community at home.
“My favorite part was seeing how well the set came together and how creatively the actors and the director, Jonathan Yukich, used the space our set designer, Heather Konish, came up with,” O’Connor said. “It was incredible to see the original design of the set and how it made the most of such a small stage; in only two months, the crew was able to make the design come to life and that was really fun to watch it go from a pile to wood to a functioning laboratory!”
The show had many memorable moments and the crowd howling with laughter. “My favorite part of Rocky Horror was when Dr. Scott reveals his fishnet stockings and red pumps!” said Prigionieri. “Such a great comedic response.”
UNH’s production of The Rocky Horror Show was a success. The actors brought Richard O’Brien’s cult classic to life and worked in harmony to keep the audience laughing.Tweet