WHAT “The Rocky Horror Show”
WHEN | WHERE Through Sept. 10. Upcoming: 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday at Gateway Playhouse, 215 South Country Rd., Bellport
INFO $59-$89; 631-286-1133 thegateway.org
Keith Andrews developed a “Rocky Horror” habit when he was a high school kid at Chaminade in Mineola. “I used to go see it all the time,” says the director-choreographer of “The Rocky Horror Show” at Gateway Playhouse in Bellport.
“I saw it in Levittown and Manhattan and even London for the 2000 revival,” he recalls. “I’d see it just about every Friday night.”
Most of “Rocky Horror’s” cult followers know the show best as a midnight movie. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” starring Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Tim Curry, was adapted from the 1973 stage musical, a surprise hit on London’s West End.
Novice alert: “Rocky Horror” takes its name from a Frankenstein-ish creature. He’s a muscle-bound hunk brought to life by a mad, cross-dressing scientist, Frank-N-Furter, who’s throwing a party to celebrate his success. A young engaged couple knock on the door of Frank’s castle after their car breaks down in a raging thunderstorm.
Written by Richard O’Brien as a parody of science-fiction/horror B movies of the mid-20th century, “The Rocky Horror Show” was no instant success in the United States. It closed after 48 Broadway performances, despite a Tony nomination for Curry, who later reprised his Frank-N-Furter on film.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show” came and went in movie theaters in 1975. But a year later, it became a phenomenon as a midnight attraction at Manhattan’s Waverly Theater. Four decades later, fans still show up costumed as their favorite characters — rain slickers like those worn by the unwitting couple, Janet and Brad, are among the easy ones — and shout out lines that anticipate the next scene, such as “Lick it! Lick it!” as a giant pair of lips appears before the opening number, “Science Fiction / Double Feature.”
“Come on and play with us,” Andrews says of Gateway’s live, interactive adaptation. “Even if you don’t know the show, you won’t feel out of it. People who’ve seen it again and again create a welcoming vibe for newcomers.”
This “Rocky Horror” could be a primer for Fox TV’s new “Picture Show,” airing Oct. 20 with Laverne Cox as Frank-N-Furter.
“I’m glad we’re up first so we can do our own take on it,” Andrews says. “Watching it alone in your living room is a much different experience than the communal ‘Rocky Horror’ atmosphere in a theater.”
The Gateway cast is led by Matthew LaBlanca from Broadway’s “Young Frankenstein” as Frank-N-Furter. “He takes over the world, as it were,” Andrews says.
Josh Canfield of Broadway’s “Doctor Zhivago” and a former “Survivor” contestant played another hunk in Gateway’s season opener, “Anything Goes.” Now he’s Rocky Horror, the title creature from Frank-N-Furter’s lab. Lisa Karlin (Broadway’s “The Addams Family”) is Magenta, the maid, while Courter Simmons of “Jersey Boys” plays Riff Raff, the handyman.
To be part of the interactive fun, you can buy prop kits in the lobby. A midnight show, 11:59 p.m. Sept. 9, celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first midnight “Picture Show.”
‘God of Carnage’ in Merrick
WHAT In “God of Carnage,” Yasmina Reza’s 2009 Tony winner for best play, two boys from an upscale Brooklyn neighborhood get into a fight and one of them winds up with dental damage. The boys’ parents meet at the home of the one who lost a couple of teeth. They make nice for a while. But when the couples start sparring, the host starts pouring rum. Spouses switch sides as the women gang up on the men and vice versa. It’s a jungle in there.
WHEN | WHERE Friday and Saturday nights at 8, Sundays at 3 p.m. through Sept. 25, Merrick Theatre and Center for the Arts, 2222 Hewlett Ave., Merrick
TICKETS $22, seniors and students $20 on Fridays and Sundays; 516-868-6400, merrick-theatre.com