Old Globe loses director for ‘Rocky Horror’ revival

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The Old Globe’s revival of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ has suffered a second major setback in less than a month. Oanh Nguyen, who had been directing the musical, has abruptly left the production less than two weeks before it is scheduled to begin preview performances. The news follows fast on the heels of lead actor James Barbour’s departure from the show in August.

Nguyen said in an e-mail statement sent to The Times: ‘The theatre made requests of me in regards to the production that I could not support, so it was best to withdraw my name. I’m, of course, disappointed. I was very excited about the production, the cast, and all the amazing work of the designers. I only wish the best for the production. I hope it’s a grand success.’

Nguyen did not elaborate on the nature of the requests made by the Old Globe. He currently serves as the artistic director of the Chance Theatre in Orange County and has directed stage productions around Southern California, including a critically acclaimed revival of ‘The Who’s Tommy’ at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

The Old Globe said in a statement sent late Friday that Nguyen ‘departed the production due to artistic differences.’ The company said that James Vasquez was stepping in to the director’s chair.


Barbour, who was to have played the lead role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, left the show in mid-August. The company gave the reason as issues surrounding his wife’s pregnancy. However, in the days leading up to his departure, media outlets in the San Diego area had been reporting on the actor’s 2008 sex case involving a minor.

‘The Rocky Horror Show’ is expected to begin performances Sept. 15 and will run through Nov. 6. The official opening is set for Sept. 23.


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-- David Ng