If want to get your Halloween reveling off to a great head start this year, I strongly recommend the MainLine Theatre’s annual production of Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show”, which is playing at the St. Laurent Boulevard venue through Halloween.
Rocky Horror Show at MainLine Theatre
I have seen The Rocky Horror Show at the MainLine practically every year since it began about seven years ago, and I have to admit that this year’s edition is probably the most wild, raucous version of this cult classic that I have witnessed and experienced, and is filled with nonstop chills, thrills and freaky musical production numbers (not to mention callouts from the audience, which are greatly encouraged).
But why have I come to this conclusion? Let’s start with Amy Blackmore’s masterful directing of this show, in which she allows a combination of familiar faces, new faces and little twists and turns that makes this show more than just an annual rehashing.
Then there’s the familiar soundtrack of songs that are played by a live band under the direction of leader Katherine Paradis and the excellent choreography that was developed by the trio of Debora Friedmann, Holly Greco and Patrick Lloyd Brennan, which allows the large cast (principal players and phantoms) to give even more energy and excitement to their respective performances.
And finally, there’s the cast. New additions Zachary Sykes and Hanna Nes bring a rather refreshingly bland perspective to their performances as, respectively, protagonists Brad and Janet, and are perfect foils to the collection of bizarre characters they will encounter during the course of the show. And for the “Rocky Horror” veterans, they just breathe new life into the characters they have portrayed on the MainLine stage for a number of years. Stephanie McKenna brings a leather-clad biker persona to Dr. Frank N. Furter (not to mention some breathtaking acrobatic moves); Kenny Streule is once again his best unflappable self as the show’s omnipresent and humble narrator; Maxine Segalowitz returns to “Rocky Horror” as the tap dancing Columbia, and her overdramatic reaction bits are hilarious to watch. However, special kudos go out to Meghan Vera Starling, who reprises her role as Riff Raff and gives a delightfully insane, creepy performance that just dominates the show. Seeing Ms. Starling in her all-black costume and eerie, shadowy makeup reminded me of the spooky characters that appeared in the classic horror movies that Universal Pictures produced during the 1930s and 40s. In fact, if you would put her as Riff Raff back in time (circa 1939) in one of those black & white Universal horror flicks, she would fit in perfectly. Ms. Starling is currently nominated for a METAs Award for her performance as Riff Raff in last year’s edition, and based on what I have seen, she should be a shoo-in to take home the prize next month.
Where can I purchase tickets for “The Rocky Horror Show”
This year’s edition of “The Rocky Horror Show” has firmly solidified itself as a must-see Halloween tradition here in Montreal, and no Hallows Eve is complete in this city without catching this show at its MainLine Theatre home. So don’t dream it, be it and make it a point to catch Rocky Horror, so you can do the Time Warp again and again and again. However, tickets for the remaining performances are going fast, with the October 31 show close to being entirely sold out. To get your tickets, call 514-849-3378, or go to www.mainlinetheatre.com.