Shivering in Antici…pation: Actor’s Express Takes on ‘The Rocky Horror Show’

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has endured as a cult classic for decades – so much, in fact, that its popularity overshadows the theatrical show the film is based on. Atlanta audiences can soon remedy that problem, though. Actor’s Express is staging The Rocky Horror Show, opening on Wednesday, July 9 with a special Director’s Rough Cut and playing special previews the following two nights before officially premiering on Saturday, July 12.

If, for some reason, you aren’t familiar with the plot of Rocky Horror, it follows an innocent couple, Brad and Janet, who seek refuge in a mysterious castle on a rainy night. Once inside, they meet Dr. Frank N. Furter and his group of misfits, who lead the young couple on a wild ride of sexual discovery and rock-n-roll.

Freddie Ashley, director of The Rocky Horror Show, thinks the production will appeal to Atlanta’s gay audience for a number of reasons.

“For one, it is so sexy. More importantly, the show is a celebration of otherness and the freedom to discover your true self. That’s a theme that resonates deeply with gay audiences.”

Nowhere is that sense of “otherness” felt clearer than in the character of Frank N. Furter. The role held significant interest to his portrayer in the production, Craig Waldrip.

“Frank is someone who plays by his own sexual and gender rules. He is interesting to me because he is all unfiltered sexuality and passion with no impulse control or concern for societal conventions. I think he resonates with me and many in the gay community because he has the ability to act on all desires and speak his mind with no fear of repercussion.

The Rocky Horror Show, particularly the movie, gave all of us who felt different a place to escape and express ourselves safely, and Frank N. Furter was our queen. I think there’s great power in the mantra of one of the show’s songs, ‘Don’t Dream It, Be It.’”

Fans of the film adaptation may be surprised by the general vibe of play, though.

“There aren’t different storylines per se, but I think the biggest surprises lie in how we approach the story,” says Ashley. “There is a very different vibe than the movie. We’ve tried to approach it from a completely new point of view while staying 100% faithful to the material. I think the first thing people will notice will be the amazing costumes, which are sexy as hell.”

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The Rocky Horror Show plays a special Director’s Rough Cut on Wednesday, July 9 at 8 p.m. Preview performances will be held July 10 and 11 at 8 p.m., and the show will host its opening night July 12 at 8 p.m. The show runs through Saturday, August 9, with 8 p.m. showings Wednesdays–Saturdays and midnight showings July 19­–August 9. All performances are held at Actor’s Express (887 W Marietta St, Suite J-107). To purchase tickets in advance, call 404-607-7469 or visit actors-express.com.

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