Translyvanian Convention at Park HallHalloween came early to Ben Lomond this weekend. The Mountain Community Theatre’s production of The Rocky Horror Show had more corsets than you’ll find at Pacific Avenue’s Camouflage; along with plenty of pink and purple hair, eye shadow and makeup and a full complement of smoke, eerie sound effects and startling surprises that thoroughly delighted the packed house Saturday night.
To say that Ben Jammin Holck stole the show would be inaccurate - no theft was involved. The veteran local actor, well known throughout the county for his work with young, aspiring thespians; seemed born to play Dr. Frank ‘N Furter, the mad but “sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.” Holck displayed the full range of his considerable flamboyance and talent from the moment he strutted onto the stage in his sequined platform heels and black cape right through to his dramatic death scene. Holck managed to bring something new and fresh to the role first made famous by Tim Curry, while still staying very true to the Richard O’Brien character. His performance earned him a deserved standing ovation.
As wonderful as Holck was, he did not overhadow the supporting cast of characters. Steve Goodman as Riff-Raff, the hunchbacked servant; Kulia Blick and Emily Patterson as Magenta and Columbia as well as Frank Levy as the no neck narrator all turned in convincing performances. John Wasieleski was a sold Rocky and Maia D’Andrea, as the wheelchair bound Dr Scott, was hilarious.
Brad and Janet, the young couple at the center of the 50’s sci-fi spoof, were deftly handled by Jack Olsen and Sydney Gorham. We’ve come to expect great things from Gorham’s voice and her, rendition of “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” along with her earlier high C scream were both show-stoppers but her dramatic handling of the transformation from clueless to sultry was sizzling.
All of the full production scenes including the opening Science Fiction/Double Feature; and the classic Time Warp were expertly crafted and beautifully delivered by the full cast. The bedroom scenes where Dr Frank ‘N Furter deflowers first Janet then Brad were - well let’s just say that parents might want to think twice before bringing younger children to this show.
As anyone who has been to a movie version of the show well knows, the audience can also get into the act. The Saturday night Park Hall crowd played their parts with enthusiasm. I have never seen so many copies of the Sentinel in SLV as I did covering heads during the rainstorm scene.
Local theatrical treasure Kathie Kratochvil, supported by a cast and crew of over 60, managed and directed a thoroughly professional production that captured all the camp of the original stage version, incorporated the interactive elements that delight audiences at the movie version and yet still provided signature moments and surprises that made the evening completely entertaining and memorable.
The level of talent and the quality of the performances belies the common conception of “community” theater. Whether you’re a fan of O’Brien’s classic musical or you just enjoy live theater you ought to get yourself to Ben Lomond, this caliber of entertainment is not common.
The Rocky Horror Show continues with shows on October 25, 26, 31 (Halloween!), November 1, and 2 at 8 p.m. and October 27 and November 3 at 7:30 and 11 p.m. General admission tickets are $22. Students and seniors are $18. Two for one tickets for both 11 p.m. shows. This is an adult show; everyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Mountain Community Theater (MCT) is Santa Cruz County’s longest continuously running community theater company. MCT is a member-run non-profit organization that derives its support primarily from performance proceeds and charitable donations.
Park Hall is located at 9400 Mill Street in Ben Lomond, just 17 minutes away from downtown Santa Cruz. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.mctshows.org