The Theater: Bit of a Drag

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Book, Music and Lyrics by RICHARD O'BRIEN

They are selling decadence short in this musical, but they are very bullish on silliness. The Rocky Horror Show is a mindless spoof of old horror movies performed to the accompaniment of a rock score in the style of the '50s.

On a stormy night in Transylvania, a young honeymooning couple, Brad (Bill Miller) and Janet (Abigale Haness), suffer a car breakdown near a castle ruled by a bisexual drag queen named Dr. Frank 'N' Furter. In his lab, the evil doctor, leeringly played by Tim Curry, has fashioned a blond centerfold playmate, Rocky (Kim Milford), who is sort of male. Frank wears torn black mesh stockings, black garters and black lipstick. Rocky is clad in something smaller than swim trunks and larger than a jock strap. He tenses his torso and biceps like an old Charles Atlas ad plugging rock muscularity.

Despite Rocky's body magic, the insatiable Frank proceeds to seduce both Janet and Brad. These indelicacies are mimed in silhouette behind a scrim. Assorted voyeurs and participants include a hunchbacked butler, Riff-Raff (Ritz O'Brien, stage name of Richard O'Brien) and girl slaves.

The rock music is well played, but deafening amplification makes the lyrics unintelligible. It is not easy to see why this campy trash was a long-running hit in London and a smash success in Los Angeles, except that transvestism has always fascinated the British and the L.A. scene is almost as kinky. For this show, the orchestra seats have been ripped from the floor of Broadway's Belasco Theater and small café tables substituted. These are jammed together without regard for comfort or pleasure. Drinks are served throughout the evening, and in the present instance, customers are advised to get as bombed as the show. ∙T.E.Kalem