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Bayou City Theatrics’ ROCKY HORROR Fabulously Rocks Hell Out of Houston

Friday, October 26, 2012

 The other show stealer here is the remarkable presence of Wendy Taylor as Riff Raff. Her huge knockers and huge soulful voice can be seen and heard all the way to downtown Houston. I have never experienced the amazing talents of the wonderful Ms. Taylor, but now I am eager to experience her again. Wow!

Richard O’Brien‘s The Rocky Horror Show at Vue Nightclub is one huge, hilarious, intimately staged, pared-down extravaganza that should not be missed. Director Colton Berry, along with co-director Beth Lazarou, inaugurates his new theatre company, Bayou City Theatrics, with the same production that he directed and produced while on staff at the Music Box Theater last year at this time with a few casting changes. The talented Mr. Berry has moved on from the Music Box Theater, but like last year’s show, he takes the huge stage show and perfectly fits it into the intimate setting at Vue Nightclub, successfully paring the campy throwback to B science fiction movies down to nine super-talented, bigger-than-life performers who give us their all and 200% more.

Unfortunately, sputtering microphones and poorly miked singers greatly marred opening night’s performance last night. When I see a sound booth located in an upstage corner of a space, I know there are going to be huge problems. The best sound mix comes from within the audience, preferably locating the board about halfway back right smack dab in the middle of the audience. How else can a sound engineer give the audience the excellent sound that an audience needs? I noticed that no sound was coming out of the speakers behind the audience, only from the speakers in front of the audience. Of course, the sound guy never knew this because he was actually behind those front speakers. This is the reason previews are important. This show opened last night without one single preview to work out all of the technical details. I would hope that with time, this huge problem will be worked out. I loved the huge attention to sexual innuendo in this production but I missed the pumps and stilettos and corsets and stockings that every actor should be wearing during the floor show.

Mr. Berry’s and Ms. Lazarou’s staging is clever and fun, all staged in close proximity to the audience. There is nothing more satisfying to an audience than being included in the staging of a musical. Mr. Berry also inhabits the rock star, Eddie, not as successfully as he does the mysterious Dr. Scott, glimmering and gesticulating with great aplomb as he takes us on a journey through the weirdness and the wonder of the bizarre world Richard O’Brien has so cleverly constructed. In this production, I did miss the fun opening up of “The Time Warp” to the audience and getting them to join in.

Tye Blue as Frank ‘N Furter (Photo: Dalton DeHart)
Extraordinary performer Tye Blue turns in the best Frank ‘N Furter this critic has ever experienced. Mr. Blue is a skilled vocalist and takes us to the edge of his wild and wacky world with vocal interpretations that only a masterful vocal genius can accomplish. His Frank ‘N Furter is genuine, not overly campy, and we fully sympathize with him. When his character has to say goodbye to his life, I actually cried with him as he sings his final notes. Mr. Blue is a handsome actor and makes a most enticing and perfectly gorgeous sweet transvestite, reminding me of what David Bowie looked like in the eighties. And although his floppy hairpiece became problematic at times (it fell off once and he simply stuck it in his waist bodice), he worked it into the show as only a seasoned professional can do.

The other show stealer here is the remarkable presence of Wendy Taylor as Riff Raff. Her huge knockers and huge soulful voice can be seen and heard all the way to downtown Houston. I have never experienced the amazing talents of the wonderful Ms. Taylor, but now I am eager to experience her again. Wow! …..

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