Climate change and the looming environmental apocalypse has disrupted the traditional cycle of the seasons. That old joke about the weather (wait 15 minutes and it’ll change) now seems less a joke and more a terrifying prediction. No longer can you rely on Mother Nature to do what we expect. Into this breach then, steps art and commerce. If you can’t count on the leaves to turn, you can at least count on two things to tell you it’s autumn: the arrival of pumpkin spice treats and a local production of The Rocky Horror Show.
The Rocky Horror Show (hereafter referred to as RHS) is an October staple. Every Halloween season local rep cinemas program the 1975 film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, usually in its raucous audience-participation form, while local theatre companies stage the original 1973 musical. Brad, Janet, Frank-n-Furter, and the rest come to life in all their debauched glory all over North America and hundreds of thousands of people strap on a corset, pack some toast in their messenger bag, and head out to let their freak flag fly at one of the most enduring artistic traditions of all time.
This year that tradition is being fulfilled for us by Hamilton Theatre Inc. They are staging a production of RHS that runs from October 25 – November 9 and is already sold out! An ever-growing waitlist for tickets might be your best chance to see HTI’s take on the classic musical; and in my experience, their take is well worth it. HTI has been bringing “the best of Broadway” to Hamilton audiences since 1956 and they are the go-to home of musical theatre in Hamilton. Located in a small but serviceable black box theatre on MacNab North, HTI has built up a reputation for quality work and interesting choices and their stable of musical theatre talent draws from the best of the local community.
It’s hard for me to imagine anyone who would be interested in RHS not already being totally familiar with it. Like The Wizard of Oz, it’s embedded in the pop culture fabric of our society. But on the off-chance that there’s a reader out there who doesn’t know the show, a brief description: a staid (but not too staid) newly-wed couple have car trouble late at night and approach a mysterious mansion looking for a telephone. What they find there is the stuff of musical theatre legend. There’s no point in elaborating further – either you’re a fan and know what’s coming or I don’t to ruin the surprise.
HTI’s long history of strong work and the deep pool of musical theatre talent in this city mean that the lucky people who already purchased their tickets are in for a treat. For the rest of us, our best chance is to email firstname.lastname@example.org and join the waiting list. Dammit Janet, I knew we should have planned ahead.