Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Welcome back, Rocky

If you somehow missed the rousing Artists’ Repertory Theatre production of “The Rocky Horror Show” in its recent October-November run — what were you thinking? It’s a smart, tart experience that explodes with enthusiasm. Luckily, you have a second chance. The company is bringing back “Rocky” for a five-performance encore run at the Cal Arts Severance Theatre. The production opens 8 p.m. tonight and continues through Monday with a closing New Year’s Eve performance.

This version is basically the same cast — with one well-known local theater name replacing another in a leading role. Terry Lewis will play Riff Raff, replacing Brian Pucheu, who was committed to perform in California Public Theater’s “RENT.”

To remind you of just how good this production is, here’s my Beehive review. Here’s my 7 cover story on opening day, and here’s a fun chat with director/star Daniel Chavez Jr., “Fresno’s most flexible hot dog.” Maybe what you need to spice up your New Year’s weekend is a little “Time Warp.”

A chat with Fresno’s most flexible hot dog

We had a great time last Friday in The Bee’s photo studio preparing our big cover-story package on the opening of “The Rocky Horror Show” in tomorrow’s issue of 7. For the shoot, we had (appropriately enough) seven of the leading cast members show up in full “Rocky” regalia. (Or, in the case of Rocky himself, a costume that can be measured in mere square inches of fabric.)

Because of our fancy photo treatment of “Rocky Horror” in 7, I didn’t have enough space to go into all the details I would have liked after talking with Daniel Chavez Jr., who is both director and the leading character of Frank ‘N’ Furter (above; Bee photo by Mark Crosse). So consider this post an addition to my 7 story.

The look of the show: Chavez’s “steam punk” aesthetic will best be seen in the costumes, which have been completely redone from the 2008 Severance Theatre production. An example: the Phantoms four years ago wore leather corsets and fishnet stockings. The updated look replaces the leather with satin brocade and adds peasant blouses, garters, hose, puffy sleeves and ruffles. “I kind of feel like my tastes have refined,” Chavez says. “We’re taking it away from the whole garage-band grunge look.”

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More on ‘Rocky Horror’


With Christmas upon us, everyone knows that New Year’s Eve isn’t far behind. In Friday’s 7 section I have an interview with Daniel Chavez Jr., who is returning as Frank ‘N’ Furter in “The Rocky Horror Show” at the Tower Theatre. (It plays 8 p.m. Dec. 31 and Jan. 2.) This is substantially the same production that played last year at the Severance Theatre. We’ll be giving away tickets next week on the Beehive, so keep watch. Here’s the full interview with Daniel:

What’s different about this show?

Every showing has slight differences due to the audience participation. There is also some changed choreography, some new looks and some new faces.

What changes did you have to make to adapt to the Tower Theatre?

We changed our set a bit but the biggest change was the perspective. We don’t have audience on every side of us now so staging had to adapt to that.

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