By Shelli Park

A production has landed in Burien from the far reaches of you know where, and you, too, can soak in the liberating rays of this cult classic blast from the past – The Rocky Horror Show written by Richard O’Brien.

The over-the-top extravaganza is tempered by a simple set, the simplicity’s dual purpose being flexibility for the possibility that BAT would have to vacate the Annex by Jan. 31, 2020. Albie Clemente, the set designer, took all of the contingencies to heart without damaging the productions’ soul.

The Sonic Transducer is a creation to behold! It lights up and flashes, with knobs to dial. (I have a particular interest in the design of this machine, as I painted BAT’s 2008 version.) The closet from which the golden boy, and Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter’s own creation, Rocky (Travis Martinez), emerges, is equally de-light-full, creating fascinating silhouettes later in the show!

There are some very strong performances in this production. I was enchanted by the performance of Megan Smith as Columbia. From the tap dancing to the fan-girling, her enthusiasm is a miracle to behold.

The opening number, “Science Fiction/Double Feature” introduces Kim Orcutt as The Usherette. She sets an appropriately ‘Rocky’ tone throughout the entire show. Delightfully, Orcutt also plays Magenta, the maid at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion. She has a strong voice and her presence is powerful and compelling.

Riff Raff, Magenta’s brother, played by Thomas Thompson, is quiet and understated. He was a bit hard to hear, so it made it difficult to fully enjoy his performance, though his physicality oozed dry sarcasm and made me smile.

The Narrator, played by Greg Michaels, brings the perfect balance of solemnity and humor to the stage. His deadpan manner, and adept dance moves ground the production. The staging for The Narrator by director Mark ‘Mok’ Moser is particularly poignant. The use of a mobile podium is hilarious in the hands of Michaels.

Tony “Ton” Williams’ plays Brad. His performance starts out a little rough, but as the production progresses his confidence, and his presence on stage, grows exponentially. Williams can dance, and sing! He is hilarious, and a wonderful addition to the cast.

My favorite, and the best, musical performance, in my opinion, is “Rose Tint My World,” which is centered around another wonderful performance: Max Lopuszynski as Dr. Scott. Lopuszynski is very satisfying. There are characters in this cult classic that you want to rely on. Dr. Scott fits the bill.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fabulousness of Shane Patrick Hoffmann as the iconic Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter. His performance is out of this world. Hoffmann commands the stage with flair.

Also, Kenn Pridgen is reportedly the first black male at birth/non-binary person to perform as Janet!

As for things to work on, there are some places in the production where the pacing could be slowed just a bit to milk the poignant high drama, and rousing comedy. Pitch can be an issue in some of the musical performances, as well. All the parts and pieces are there, though.

BAT brings this award winning musical comedy to Burien under emotional duress, and what a triumphant survival story! As with Brad and Janet, BAT has survived, though not unscathed.

The Rocky Horror Show – a story about adventure – love and acceptance, is a high energy escape.

REVIEW: Burien Actors Theatre's 'Rocky Horror Show' is a high energy escape 1

Brad (Tony “Ton” Williams) proposes to Janet (Kenn Pridgen) right before the young couple accidentally end up in the eerie mansion of a Transylvanian transvestite scientist and his household of unforgettable characters in the campy musical comedy The Rocky Horror Show. The show performs through March 22 at Burien Actors Theatre. The band is playing in the background of all photos with, from left to right, in the front row guitarist Brian Keiper, bass guitarist Julee Felts and keyboardist/band leader Aimee Hong, and in the back row drummer Tai Taitano and saxophonist Cody Clark.

REVIEW: Burien Actors Theatre's 'Rocky Horror Show' is a high energy escape 2

Eddie (Max Lopuszynski) escapes his cryogenic stasis to return to life to the delight of Columbia (Megan Ruth Smith), hugging Eddie, while Magenta (Kim Orcutt) and a disgruntled Dr. Frank ’N’ Furter look on.

REVIEW: Burien Actors Theatre's 'Rocky Horror Show' is a high energy escape 3

Magenta (Kim Orcutt), center, sings Science Fiction, backed by the cast from left to right: Columbia (Megan Ruth Smith), Dr. Frank ’N’ Furter (Shane Patrick Hoffmann), Brad (Tony “Ton” Williams), Phantom (Olivia Robinson), Dr. Scott (Max Lopuszynski), Phantom (Claire Ingalls), Phantom (Tiana Ross), Phantom (Maureen Coulton), Narrator (Greg Michaels), Riff Raff (Thomas Thompson) and Janet (Kenn Pridgen).

REVIEW: Burien Actors Theatre's 'Rocky Horror Show' is a high energy escape 4

Riff Raff (Thomas Thompson) and Magenta (Kim Orcutt) share an alien moment.

REVIEW: Burien Actors Theatre's 'Rocky Horror Show' is a high energy escape 5

Rocky (Travis Martinez), center, works off his highly energetic angst as the newest creation of Dr. Frank ’N’ Furter in the song Sword of Damocles, while Magenta (Kim Orcutt) and Dr. Frank ’N’ Furter (Shane Patrick Hoffmann) look on.

Photos courtesy Michael Brunk

TICKETS & $5 OFF COUPON
Ticket prices range from $7 to $25. Student tickets are $10.

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REVIEW: Burien Actors Theatre's 'Rocky Horror Show' is a high energy escape 6
For tickets, special deals or other information, go to www.burienactorstheatre.org or call 206-242-5180.

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show is sponsored by 4Culture and Pickled & Preserved.

Here are the remaining performances:

    • Friday, February 28, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Saturday, February 29, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Sunday, March 1, 2020: 2:00 PM
    • Friday, March 6, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Saturday, March 7, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Sunday, March 8, 2020: 2:00 PM
    • Friday, March 13, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Saturday, March 14, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Sunday, March 15, 2020: 2:00 PM
    • Friday, March 20, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Saturday, March 21, 2020: 8:00 PM
    • Sunday, March 22, 2020: 2:00 PM

ABOUT BURIEN ACTORS THEATRE
Exciting live theater has been a tradition in Burien since 1955. Incorporated in 1980, Burien Actors Theatre is a leading producer of quality live theater serving residents of the Seattle and south Puget Sound areas.

BAT gives audiences an intriguing and invigorating theatre experience with unusual and fantastical productions they can’t stream online or see anywhere else. The company’s mission is to treat audiences to productions of the highest artistic integrity that excite, engage and involve both the local and expanding theatrical communities in the Puget Sound region.

BAT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity and operates on revenue from ticket sales, donations, grants, sponsorships and volunteers.

More info at www.burienactorstheatre.org.

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