Broadway Olympia’s production of The Rocky Horror Show — opening, oh so fittingly, on Halloween — was more than two decades in the making. That’s quite a feat considering the musical-theater company launched its first season just two months ago. It all began in 1995, when managing director Kyle Murphy first saw the sci-fi-horror-comedy musical. “I’ve wanted to be a part of Rocky Horror since I was about 16, when I first saw Harlequin’s production in the Black Box at The Washington Center,” Murphy said in a recent email interview. “You could probably say it’s the reason we have a season at all.” (The photo above is from that inspirational Harlequin production.)
Murphy immediately fell for the edginess and high-energy-rock score of the campy 1973 play that spawned the equally campy 1975 cult-classic film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. “It’s a banger,” he said.
It’s also an eerily perfect fit for Broadway Olympia, which stages its shows in the Capitol Theater, a space with a long history of hosting both films and live performances — including many screenings of Picture Show. After all, Rocky started its life as a play based on cheesy sci-fi films, then gave birth to a movie that became a backdrop to countless live performances.
Both film and play follow the misadventures of the newly engaged Brad (Guy Taylor Simpson III of Olympia) and Janet (Ashley Roy of Tacoma), who lose their innocence when they encounter transvestite scientist Frank N. Furter (Mauro Bozzo of Puyallup), his boy toy Rocky (Jimmi Cook of Gig Harbor) and other strangers — in every sense of the word. The cast also includes Olympia theatrical stalwart Bruce Haasl and Rocky regular John Tyndall of Tukwila.
The play differs from the film in some details including an extra song for Brad, director Chris Serface of Tacoma said in a phone interview, but film fans will recognize iconic moments they’ve come to love. As at screenings, the audience is welcome to talk back, and the theater will sell participation kits with approved props for use at key moments. Such classic props as water guns and toast are now frowned upon for fear of injured actors and flourishing pests but, though a modicum of restraint is asked of audiences, the frightfully funny antics on stage will be as over-the-top as ever.
The Rocky Horror Show
206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia
8 p.m. Wednesday – Sunday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2 and 4;
Midnight Saturday, Nov. 3;
2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4