This weekend, get ready to do The Time Warp again with Bay Street Theatre as they present their tenth annual production of the ever-engrossing cult classic Rocky Horror Live. Fittingly the production's director, David L. Poole worked as a designer on the ensemble’s first iteration of the genre-bending sci-fi musical known for its influential aesthetic.
“I’m so thrilled to get a chance to design and direct the show after working on it the very first one ten years ago now,” said Poole between rehearsals, “It’s come full circle.”Get Savannah arts and culture news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our Dine Savannah and Do update newsletters
Despite the varied themes of prior years’ performances, this years’ production will be closely based on the original 1975 film starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick as Dr. Frank N. Furter, Janet Weiss, and Brad Majors respectively.
“This is the first time they’ve done it in this style," explained Poole. "Every year the designer comes in with a different conceptual theme. The first one, which I worked on, was circus themed and everything looked like it was under the big top. Another year, it was all television tropes of that time, so there was a cowboy narrator, and Frank N. Furter was like 'Father Knows Best' in the beginning, and for his big reveal had lingerie on under his suit and tie. This year, we’re going really traditional and campy. We’ll be playing with the idea of camp a lot, it’s just fun and hearkens back to the ’70s when the film was made.”
Poole also said he’s excited to harness the connections that inherently develop with returning cast and crew who’ve performed the production over such a substantial amount of time.
“A lot of the cast are veterans of the show, so they’ve already built relationships. This will be Travis Coles' second time as Brad and the leads are veterans of the show with the exception of our newcomer Hannah Dodson who will be playing Janet Weiss. The actors already know the show intimately so it’s been such a really great collaboration between us because they bring so much knowledge and experience to the play after having done it for so many years.”
The cast will feature a rotating narrator from week to week of notable Savannah favorites. “I took that from the 2000’s Rocky Horror revival," Poole said. "The first narrator will be Jessica Leigh Lebos, followed by Darryl Thompson the second week, and the third will be rounded out by Malinda Davis-Smith, so that keeps it alive too. We have this rotating narrator and every weekend we’ve got to figure out where to fit this new person and see how the audience reacts to them.”
The other best thing about performing at Club One — beside the history — is the after-party after each show. "We’ll also be doing our traditional midnight showing on Halloween, so that’s going to be a hoot, it’s really going to be something else," Poole added.
Poole encourages patrons to get tickets while they’re still available and to attend early for the more immersive activities. “We’re doing traditional warmups before the play so people can mingle with the Transylvanian phantoms, and we’ll also be doing the Are You a Rocky Horror Virgin or Not act which is always a lot of fun as well.”