WATERLOO – After three or four hours of dancing in sky-high platform heels during rehearsals for “The Rocky Horror Show,” Maj Kadabra ala Kazam is ready for a good soak.
“My feet are just killing me,” he said, “but it’s also a lot of fun.” Kazam plays Dr. Frank ‘n’ Furter, the mad scientist and alien transvestite building a man on a slab in his lab in the Waterloo Community Playhouse production, opening Friday.
When a young couple’s car breaks down on a rainy night, they walk up to a castle to call for help. They’re invited inside only to discover a weird gathering of costumed people awaiting the unveiling of the strangely seductive Frank ‘n’ Furter’s latest creation, Rocky.
The musical is a cult classic that debuted first as a stage show in 1973, and then as a movie in 1975 starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf.
Widely panned by critics, “The Rocky Horror Show” became a popular midnight movie for repeat audiences to shout back at the screen, toss things like rice, toilet paper and toast, dress up as the characters, dance the “Time Warp” and lip-sync with characters.
“We were looking for a show to fit the decade of the 1970s in our 100-year anniversary of shows, and I suggested ‘Rocky Horror.’ It has legions of fans, and I think it’s something people would come out in cold weather to see,” said Director Greg Holt.
Only the first four rows will be allowed to throw props at the stage. Those tickets are an additional $5 and come with a bag of props. The rest of the audience will be safe from flying objects, but can shout out and dance the “Time Warp.”
“This show is taking a risk for us. If you’re offended by people dancing in their underwear, this musical isn’t for you. It’s not as cutting edge or risqué as it once was – a man dressing up as a woman was pretty shocking in the ‘70s – but it’s still a fun romp,” Holt noted.
Kazam, a professional female impersonator, is excited about his role as Frank ‘n’ Furter. “It’s such an iconic role for a drag queen. It’s the most fun, campy role I’ve done, and it requires physical endurance. Normally as an actor you give a lot and the director says, ‘It’s too much, pull back.’ In this role, I’m giving it all, and the director is saying, ‘give a little more.'"
He’s had to coach himself to be “very body positive. I’m up there on stage wearing a corset, tight underwear, fishnets and garter belt, dancing and singing. I’m not as worried about the singing as I am falling out of my costume,” he said, laughing.
Other cast members include Hunter Quint as Riff Raff, Jordan Abbe as Brad, Cassidy Atchison as Janet, Jestin Hoffman as Rocky and Rick Johnson as Dr. Scott.
There is a five-piece combo with Bryan Houts as music director. Choreographer is Jordan MacKinster, with set design by Austin Sires and costumes by Annette Rubin.
The show will be presented at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 11 p.m Saturday; 7 p.m. Jan. 26, 27 and 28; and 2 p.m. Jan. 29.
For tickets, call 291-4494, order online at www.wcpbhct.org, or visit the WCA box office.