‘Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror Show’ at EarlOrrin Productions

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I was a fifteen-year old girl in 1975, when The Rocky Horror Picture Show, came out. I remember me and my friends going to the Friday midnight shows as a teenager. The audience interacted with the film; talked back to the screen, threw popcorn, and at times, some got up in front of the audience to “act” out scenes.

The cast of ‘Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror.’ Photo by Shawn Stutler.
The cast of ‘Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror.’ Photo by Shawn Stutler.

Fast forward to 2015. There’s a new generation – EarlOrrin Productions – who has resurrected Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with innovative creativity to make us long for those midnight shows again. O’Brien wrote the music, lyrics, and book.

The Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror Show, the musical with a majority African-American cast, is a great adaptation of the original movie starring the original ‘Queen Transvestite’ himself, actor Tim Curry. It is electrifying and will keep you captivated from beginning until the end.

With the movie in backdrop, a female singer gets the audience fully engaged and with anticipation as she opens the show with her sultry rendition of “Science Fiction-Double Feature.” She doesn’t miss a beat singing a long with the blacked out red lips and pearly white teeth in the movie.

The ensemble is picture perfect in the wedding scene where we are introduced to Brad Majors (Jeremy Myers) and Janet Weiss (Barrie Monroe). You definitely had an audience who knew the proper way to respond to the characters; talking back at the characters, and singing along during “Dammit, Janet,” and never forgetting to shout out “asshole,” whenever Brad’s name is mentioned, or “slut,” whenever Janet’s name is mention. Some members continually responded throughout the show.

Monroe’s beautifully choreographed and graceful dance with Myers, after getting her long-awaited, anticipated engagement ring, makes you fully appreciate modern dance. Monroe’s jumps, spins, turns cartwheels and splits, will have parents wholeheartedly considering racing to a dance school, stat, with their daughters. Myers portrayal of Brad is admirable.

As Brad and Janet go on their merry way in the rain, the human window wipers (Ensemble) of their car was pretty creative. The audience members sitting in the front two rows of the theatre, literally experience the rain as Brad and Janet did, with the sprinkling of water coming down.

Christopher Cortez’s (Riff-Raff) lip sync and dance routine of “Time Warp,” was great. Alicia Carter as Magenta and the female ensemble put the “Y” in sexy!

A ringmaster of a three-ring circus would have to take several seats to Columbia, Dr. Frank-n-Furter’s trusted assistant, played by David Leach.  Leach’s portrayal of Columbia was electrifying. His “fall on your back,” and pose dance, would have RuPaul saying, “You better work!”

And what can I say about DeCarlo Raspberry who plays Dr. Frank-n-Furter? Introducing himself to the audience with hair and makeup in check, bustier on point, seamed stockings, and wearing heels at least eight inches, while singing “Sweet Transvestite,” and throughout the show, there was no question he was the “Grand Dame.”

I, as well as the audience was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Frank-n-Furter (Raspberry) revealed not one, but two Rocky Horrors-Heels (Daryl Jefferson) and Boots (Andre Boone). The understanding of their names become clear toward the end of the show. Heels is in black heels, and Boots wears black combat boots. These two muscle-bound, handsome actors dazzled the crowd with not only good looks and in-shape bodies, but with their acrobats as well. They sang in sync with their rendition of “Sword of Damocles.” I wondered as I sat in my seat how Janet (Monroe) would handle a ménage a trois. She did with no problem.

Raspberry’s (Frank-n-Furter) rendition of “I’ll Make You A Man,” had all the sounds of gospel-infused. Everyone who witness this will want to testify. And, he gets what he wants-the two Rockys! Somebody shout!

The cast of ‘Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror.’ Photo by Shawn Stutler.
The cast of ‘Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror.’ Photo by Shawn Stutler.

During “The Show,” announced by Dr. Frank-n-Furter, there was no doubt of his influence. He secured control over (through the use of a zap machine) Columbia, Rockys I and II, Brad, Janet, and the cantankerous Dr. Everett Scott (Jonathan D. Smith), who came to the mansion looking for his nephew, Eddie (Patrice Campbell). No doubt they had caught on to the “bustier, fishnet stockings and high heel” movement. But Frank-n-Furter’s (Raspberry) reign is about to come to an end, as Magenta (Carter) and Riff-Raff (Cortez), his trusted assistants conspires against him. Sensing the end, Raspberry’s rendition of “I’m Going Home,” would make a judge dismiss Raspberry’s case if he stood before one.

Campbell’s Eddie was a great casting choice. Although she was a female, her portrayal fit perfectly. With her short leather jacket, fishnet stockings and short boots, she could fit in with any bikers club.

https://youtu.be/UnpAzuGXjek

I enjoyed this Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror Show immensely. The actors and the ensemble’s dance routine was nice. My only critique is that some of the scenes were in the main aisle which forced audience members to turn all the way around to view. My suggestion is that if the aisle is continued to be used, that they consider waiting until the actors get to the stage to act out scenes. These scenes will still be effective on stage.

Overall, the Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror Show makes me want to locate my high school friends, and reminisce about that great time in our lives in the 1970s.

Running Time: Approximately two hours and 10 minutes, with no intermission.

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Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror, will be performed one more time tomorrow, Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 8 PM (with a reception at 7 PM) at EarlOrrin Productions performing at Joe’s Movement Emporium – 3309 Bunker Hill Road, in Mt Rainier, MD 20712. in Mt. Rainier, MD. For tickets, purchase them at the door, or online.

Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror Cast:
DeCarlo Raspberry-Frank-n-Furter
Barrie Monroe-Janet Weiss
Jeremy Myers-Brad Majors
Riff-Raff-Christopher Cortez
Magenta-Alicia Carter
Columbia-David Leach
Rocky I-Darryl Jefferson
Rocky II-Andre Boone
Dr. Everett Scott-Jonathan D. Smith
Eddie-Patrice Campbell

LINK 
‘Rocky Horror’ Dipped in Chocolate Plays August 28th and August 30th: The Cast Reflects By Earl Melvin and Michael Harris.

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Jacqueline Brown
Jacqueline Brown (Actress, Playwright) is originally from Washington, DC. However she resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Jacqui wrote, produced, and played the character, (Mildred Barnes) in “A Conversation With The Man Who Killed My Son” (2015) which received great praise and rave reviews. Her theatrical experience also include: “Vagina Monologues 2015: East of the River;” A Staged Reading: (Rochelle) “A Quick Stop At the Florist;” (Vissegan/Maria) “A Thread of Gold Beads“ (2014); (Landlady/Ensemble) Theatre Lab’s “Violet;” wrote and starred in one-act, one woman play for 2013 DC BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL“Bedlam in the Pulpit: The Jocelyn Marshall Story;” DC 2013 QUEER Festival (Rochelle) A Quick Stop At the Florist; NVTA 2012 ONE ACT PLAY COMPETITION: (Preacher’s Wife); DC WOMEN’S THEATRE; (2012) Vagina Monologues;” VPSTART CROW (2011):(Officer Welch):” Rumors” TRAVELING SPOTLIGHT PRODUCTION (2011):(Homeless Woman) “RENT;” FOOTSTEPS IN TIME (2011): (Staged Reading) Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory; CREATIVE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (2011): (Miss Mary), “Shakin The Mess Outta Misery;” SELAH THEATRE (2008) (Deaconess Helen) “Saints, Ain’ts and Wanabeez;” FOOTSTEPS IN TIME (2008): (Lu, Slave Woman) “The Gray Ghost”. Jacqui is a school social worker for Prince William County Schools, in Manassas, VA.