It’s just a jump to the left… to get to Ferndale to see “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” where Downriver diva Austin Sulkey of Southgate rocks the role of Columbia.
Two Dearborn actors are also in the cast: RJ Cach plays Eddie, the role memorialized by Meatloaf in the movie, and David Schoen plays the neck-less narrator.
It’s time to do the Time Warp again, as four weeks of campy, absolute pleasure in the intimate theater allows the audience to shout back, interact and enjoy the cult classic.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” runs through Aug. 6, with 8 p.m. shows July 14, 16, 19 to 21, 23, 26 to 28, 30, Aug. 2 to 4, and Aug. 6. There is an Aug. 4 midnight show.
Brandy Joe Plambeck directs the show, with music director Jeremy Martin and choreographer Molly Zaleski.
Plambeck, who also plays Dr. Scott, said the Ringwald’s intimate house is a viewing advantage for audiences.
“People are right there in it, and the energy is really electric,” he said. “This year, we have some unique twists on how the show is traditionally done, which allows the audience to be even closer to it than ever before.”
Plambeck said that those who arrive early will have a chance to mingle with the crazy characters from “Frank’s Place.” He encourages characters to dress up, too, like the characters.
“Who knows – perhaps they may get some special attention,” Plambeck hinted.
He also encourages guests to shout out the callbacks from the cult film classic.
“We encourage you to be loud and proud,” Plambeck said. “We have been rehearsing with them, and cannot wait to have more participation. Bring it on.”
He said while self-supplied props are not allowed, goody bags may be purchased for $5, which include the traditional party favors and a few new ones.
Sulkey, who played Janet in a Wyandotte Community Theatre production of “Rocky Horror,” leaves her stage innocence behind as she takes on the challenge of playing Columbia, a groupie with designs on both Frank and Eddie, in a role that takes her from flirty and fun to angst filled and angry.
Sulkey said playing Columbia is challenging.
“I am used to playing innocent characters,” she said. “Columbia is hard, has lived a challenging life. It’s been an amazing journey, my character grew, and now she is this feisty woman!”
She said the small performance space adds to the experience.
“The audience is very immersed in what is happening,” she said. “We use every inch of the theater to make the audience experience exciting and memorable.”
She said the costuming and set is unique as well.
“We have made it very ‘rock and roll,’ with ’80s costuming, and a stage design that will whisk you back in time,” Sulkey said.
She said they break the fourth wall, the conceptual space between the story and its viewers, often.
“We want the audience to feel part of the show,” she said. “Not just watching, but living it along with us. It is unlike any show you have seen before, and an experience you will never forget.”
Plambeck said audiences should come prepared to have fun.
“This isn’t just a performance – it’s an experience,” he said. “Come early and immerse yourself for the best experience possible, to ‘give yourself over to absolute pleasure.’”
The cast also includes: Dyan Bailey of Warren as Magenta; Jordan Gagnon of Royal Oak as Janet Weiss; Garett Michael Harris of Royal Oak as Rocky; Suzan M. Jacokes of Ferndale as Dr. Frank N. Furter; Donny Riedel of Chelsea as Riff Raff; Matt Wallace of Royal Oak as Brad Majors; and Colleen Bielman of Detroit, Peggy Lee of Royal Oak, Rebecca S. Mickle of Amherstburg, Ontario and Ryan Kayla of Detroit as members of the ensemble.
Friday and Saturday shows are $25, with $20 Thursday night admission, and $10 Monday shows. For tickets or more information, go to TheRingwald.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office 45 minutes before the show opens.
HFC AUDITIONS FOR ‘THE LARAMIE PROJECT’
Henry Ford College will hold auditions for “The Laramie Project” from 2 to 4 p.m. July 31 and 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 8 and 9 in Room 161 of the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the main campus, 5101 Evergreen Road in Dearborn.
The play, hailed as a captivating work of contemporary theater, dramatizes the interviews of residents of Laramie, Wyo., following the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student.
Directed by Sarah Hawkins, cast members play multiple roles throughout the play. Those auditioning should prepare a one-minute monologue from a contemporary play. There will also be cold readings from the script.
Anyone may audition. Those cast must enroll in a three credit theatre production class.
“The Laramie Project” runs 8 p.m. Nov. 8 to 10 and 15 to 17, and 2 p.m. Nov. 11 and 18 in Adray Auditorium.
For more information, contact Sarah Hawkins at [email protected].