From the moment one walks into the Woodlawn Theatre, they are instantly surrounded by a wonderfully fresh decor, including a fully lit marque and a business professionalism that has continued to escape the theater scene for many years. From the friendly bar staff to the enthusiastic concessionaire, the Woodlawn Theatre, under the artistic direction of Greg Hinojosa, has leaped further and faster than one could ever hope.
The musical child of a cult classic movie movie like The Rocky Horror Show better be slick and professional with an entertainment factor that can hit the audience between the eyes, happily Hinojosa’s direction provided all of this and more. His direction was comical and racy all at once. This is definetely a rated R show with many sexual scenes and strong language throughout. The cast is led by a winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Sharon Needles, as the mad transexual scientist. She did a great job with delivering a frightening character while still leaving room for a sensitive portrayal of the character. The musical does not require great voices, just singers that can handle the somewhat acrobatic staging and choreography, though there were a few vocal stand outs. Isidoro Medina III exudes a lush baritone quality while playing the role Brad. Melissa Zarb-Cousin also gave a nice vocal presentation in her hilarious role of Janet. It was difficult to hear much of the sung dialogue due to an opening night glitch with sound balances between the vocals and the excellent band led by Hector Serna. In fact, the small rock band was almost flawless throughout the show.
Certainly Kevin Murray and Dave Cortez shine bright as the Narrator and Dr. Scott, respectively. Two of our city’s kings of comedy felt right at home in this production. There were no weak spots anywhere in the cast. The biggest compliment might be attributed to the incredible production value of the show, especially the “Broadway” quality of the set and special effects, designed by Kurt Wehner and Benjamin Grabill. Also, the lighting design was a major element in the success of the musical, truly turning the musical into a rock concert atmosphere at times. Costume design was cleverly crafted by Greg Hinojosa, with plenty of sexy, tight fitting, leather clad garments that stayed exciting and consistent throughout the performance.
This is certainly a high energy production with good professional elements. A wild ride into the dark side of a cult classic. If you have seen Rocky Horror at the movies, this is a must see. If you have not, come with an open mind of acceptance and the will to have a little naughty fun. The Rocky Horror Show will run through October 27 at the Woodlawntheatre.com, 210-267-8388.
Review By: Phantom’s Box