After an over two-year long hiatus, the lights lit up inside ZACH’s Topfer Theatre again. Unique and quirky characters are taking the stage now through May 1 with all the shimmery costumes and props the Austin theatre company is known for.
Personally, for myself, it feels a bit surreal to step back inside ZACH’s building after so long. At the same time, there is nothing that compares to an indoor night out at the theatre. It was enjoyable to see so many people – presumably longtime fans of the iconic Rocky Horror Show – laughing and having a good time without having to focus so much on social distancing. Some fans even wore their own costumes.
Much like life in general right now versus two years ago, this production was different. But in this case, different means more festive. Feather boas and toilet paper (yes, ironically toilet paper) and other party favors scattered the floor by the end of the show, in a way I’ve never seen at ZACH. Interactivity was a focus. Water guns shooting water into the air – and people covering their heads with newspapers. Items in a party pack available for additional purchase make for a more engaging production, especially for fans and followers of the show who’ve likely seen multiple variations.
This was my first version of any Rocky Horror Show so everything, including the storyline was new to me. The storyline centers on a couple – Brad and Janet – who find themselves stranded and seeking shelter at a dark and mysterious castle. Wanting to use the phone, they meet Dr. Frank N. Furter and his creation “Rocky” along with an assortment of other unique and crazy creatures.
Cecil Washington Jr. stars in the production with musical book by Richard O’Brien. Musical direction is by Allen Robertson and choreography is by Robin Lewis. All the talent rocked the stage with energy and enthusiasm.
If you are looking for a worry-free, maybe somewhat light-hearted night at the theatre, I recommend seeing this show. Whether or not you’ve seen the original stage show or 1975 movie, ZACH’s version has some local flair … including some humor that only people residing within the Austin metroplex area would understand which is sure to make anyone laugh. I thought the play storyline was eccentric, but overall, I think the underlying theme of the production is that most people just want to be loved or maybe feel accepted – and who can’t resonate with a message like that? Of course, it’s open to interpretation and different perspectives, which makes this a very thought-provoking feature.
The show runs two hours and ten minutes, including a 20-minute intermission. Due to some adult content, it’s not recommended for anyone who is age 14 or under.
Currently ZACH Theatre requires proof of vaccination for all patrons over the age of 12. If you don’t have a vaccine card, you’ll need to show a negative COVID test from with 72-hours of the start of the show. Tickets can be purchased online.
The Rocky Horror Show runs in Austin through Sunday, May 1.
Cover photo courtesy Suzanne Cordeiro
Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist, full-time marketer, and a Realtor®. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.