Rocky comes alive!
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The Rocky Horror Show at Cygnet

“It’s astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll…” Riffraff sings these lines as he invites Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, innocents both, to do the “Time Warp” in a lightning-strafed castle that’s actually a rocket ship.

The Rocky Horror Show

How many successful shows have been written by out-of-work actors? Richard O’Brien was, legend has it, when he wrote Rocky Horror. He wanted to spoof all the science-fiction/horror B-movies of his childhood. He had no idea it would become such a hit, though Tim Curry did: when he read the script, he thought, Boy, if this works, it’s going to be a smash.

Mad magazine used to have a running column called “Scenes We’d Like to See.” They’d take a familiar movie and warp it to bits. With audience participation, transvestism, a ghoulish murder, sexually enlightened innocents, and hot rock numbers, Rocky Horror is O’Brien’s version of those “mad” scenes.

You can only “Time Warp” until this Saturday, May 7, when Cygnet’s four-alarm fire of the cult classic must close (note: that’s a Saturday, not a Sunday, closing). So, you still can jump to the left, and then a step to the right. But remember: “It’s the pelvic trust/ That really drives you insane…”

Again: Playing through Saturday, May 7

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Way Downriver at North Coast Rep

Fans of William Faulkner’s novella “Old Man” may find Edward Morgan’s stage adaptation a mite watered down (pun intended). Where Faulkner lays bare the raw essentials of a man and a woman stuck on a skiff when the Mississippi flooded in 1927, Morgan provides explanations and sociological symmetries (and some dialogue-heavy scenes).

Way Downriver

The man is a convict, the woman is pregnant. For many weeks they share the skiff and an adventure worthy of Odysseus. But, in one of Faulkner’s epic ironies, the convict just wants to return to the “safe” confines of Parchman Farm, the most brutally penal institution in the South.

Sara Fetgatter and Richard Baird

Sara Fetgatter and Richard Baird

Excellent performances by Richard Baird, as the convict, Sara Fetgatter, as the pregnant woman, and Geno Carr in multiple roles make the production worth a visit. In particular, Baird and Fetgatter have only their voices, reactions, and a rather small downstage space to recreate the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

They do it so well, there are times you’ll want to reach for an umbrella —and an oar.

Playing through May 8

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