Saturday, October 3, through Saturday, October 31
Circa '21 Speakeasy, 1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL
If Halloween is approaching, it must be time for that annual theatrical command: “Let's do the 'Time Warp' again!” Consequently, the Circa '21 Speakeasy will stage its fifth-annual presentation of the cult-musical smash The Rocky Horror Show from October 3 through 31, treating audiences to live performances of classic songs in this nutty, interactive experience.
A humorous tribute to “B”-grade sci-fi and horror films, composer Richard O'Brien's musical finds the newly engaged Brad and Janet arriving at the home of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a sweet transvestite who's ready to unveil his new creation: an artificially made, fully grown, physically perfect muscle man who comes complete “with blond hair and a tan.” The original London production of Rocky Horror, which opened in 1973, ran for 2,960 performances and won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical. But the material wasn't nearly as big a hit in the United States until 1975's film version The Rocky Horror Picture Show became a genuine cult phenomenon, with the stage musical subsequently enjoying national and internationally touring productions all over the world. When Rocky Horror last appeared on Broadway in 2000, its cast included Tony nominees Daphne Rubin-Vega and Raúl Esparza, Tony winners Alice Ripley and Jarrod Emick, rock legend Joan Jett, and TV icon Dick Cavett.
Directing Rocky Horror for the third year in a row is longtime Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Bootlegger and actor Brad Hauskins, a performer in the theatre's Shear Madness and Grumpy Old Men: The Musical whose previous directorial credits for the venue include the family presentations Madagascar: A Musical Adventure and Big Nate: The Musical. Joseph Lasher and Savannah Strandin portray the gullible young Brad and Janet, with Tristan Tapscott returning to his frequent role of Frank N. Furter. Micah Bernas (Riff Raff), Cole Bizarri (Rocky), and Sydney Dexter (Phantom) round out the cast alongside four area performers reprising their 2019 roles: Victoria House (Columbia), Doug Kutzli (Narrator), Nicholas Munson (Eddie and Dr. Scott), and Kirsten Sindelar (Magenta). The production team, meanwhile, features Laura Hammes as music director, Sunshine Ramsey as choreographer, Sara Wegener as costume designer, and Heather Hauskins as lighting designer.
Following its 8 p.m. performances on October 3 and 10, The Rocky Horror Show will be performed October 23 through 31 with 7 and 11 p.m. performances on Fridays and Saturdays, and a 6 p.m. performance on Sunday, October 25. Due to the Phase 4 rules of Restore Illinois, capacity is limited to 50 people, and reservations will be accepted only for parties of four or six to maintain proper social distancing in the Speakeasy venue. Face masks are required when entering the building and either leaving tables or the venue itself. Tickets are $25-30, and more information on this year's The Rocky Horror Show is available by calling (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visiting TheCirca21Speakeasy.com.