When rock met horror

We are about to embark on a strange journey.

No Square Theatre will bring Richard O'Brien's long-running 1973 British musical, "The Rocky Horror Show," to a Laguna Beach audience for the first time at 7:30 tonight at Legion Hall.

Directed by Joe Lauderdale, the production will remain true to the original, and will feature classic hits including "The Time Warp," "Sweet Transvestite" and "Eddie's Teddy" with fresh choreography and cheesy costume-clad dancers in iconic fishnets, corsets and boas.

"I have seen productions that have tried to make the show into something gothic or punk or some other trend of the time, but it never really quite works," Lauderdale said. "For me, the show works best when you remain true to the 1950s sound with the '70s elements thrown in," Lauderdale said.

The story, a spoof on early sci-fi shows, acted out by a talented cast of 12, tells the misadventures of Brad Majors and Janet Wiess, a newly engaged couple who gets a flat tire on their hurried journey to share their professed love, and wind up as guests at the creepy castle of Frank N. Furter, the Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania.

The couple becomes entangled in the castle of crazy alien characters and fall victim to seduction.

Lauderdale, who performed in the show in the '80s and has wanted to direct it ever since, said he saw an interview with O'Brien, who related the story to Genesis.

"Brad and Janet are Adam and Eve and Frank N. Furter is the snake," he said. "I thought it was a great analogy. The story is certainly about the consequences of temptation. Those consequences could be positive or negative. We really never know how Brad and Janet changed after their experiences with Frank and the other aliens from the Planet Transexual."

A bigger fan of the stage production than Hollywood's spin, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," Lauderdale admits the stage production is "a bit more risqué" than the film.

"It's intended for an older audience, but we have tried to be as tasteful as possible," he said.

"So many in the audience will have only seen the movie and will naturally draw comparisons," said Laguna actor Steve McIntosh, who plays Dr. Scott. "While slightly different, I know they will be absolutely amazed at the talent in this show and that it can actually be performed on stage with live music, yet maintain the spirit, fun, color and character of the movie."

The show will run again at 7:30 p.m. on July 17, 22, 23 and 24. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased at http://www.nosquare.org. Seats are limited, and tickets are going quickly.

Verbal participation is allowed, but should be used to add to the experience, not disrupt it, Lauderdale said.

"And no throwing of toast or toilet paper or water guns for rain," Lauderdale said. "Only verbal participation."


WHAT: The Rocky Horror Show

WHERE: Legion Hall, 384 Legion St., Laguna Beach

WHEN: 7:30 tonight, Saturday and Thursday; 7:30 p.m. July 23 and 24.

TICKETS: $22 at http://www.nosquare.org.

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