Let's Do the Time Warp Again!
Finding a suitable replacement for a one-of-a-kind show like Rocky Horror proved ... uh, tricky. Do you go for something campy, or something that rocks, or something funny, or just do the drag thang? Steakley could find shows with one or two of the elements that drew him to add The Rocky Horror Show to his theatre's season, but nothing that mixed all the elements in quite the same way that that over-the-top tribute to old sci-fi flicks did. Eventually, he settled on a project very close in spirit to Rocky Horror -- it had the camp, it had drag, it had a spooky old manse and a goofy affection for monsters of yore -- and it suited his leading man. He pitched it to York, York agreed to do it, and The Mystery of Irma Vep, A Penny Dreadful, by Charles Ludlam was added to the season. Still, despite his confidence in the project, Steakley didn't feel it was the right show for the mainstage's late spring slot. So he took Zach's signature rock & roll hit Beehive, scheduled for a summer revival, moved it to a May opening and slotted Irma Vep to the summer. It will open July 22, with York and Martin Burke of The Santaland Diaries starring, and musical director par excellence Allen Robertson performing a live score a la silent films and live sound effects.
In the meantime, Steakley refused to give up on Rocky Horror. He continued to petition for an exemption from the production blackout. And colleagues Pebbles Wadsworth at the UT Performing Arts Center and Paul Beutel at the Paramount Theatre even offered to write a letter in support of Zach. But as it turned out, their help wasn't needed. Last week, Steakley was notified by letter that an exemption was being granted, and Zach could proceed with its production. Steakley and company were elated. Unfortunately, at this point, they didn't have the time to get the show ready by May. So Steakley has decided that Rocky Horror with Joe York as Frank N. Furterwill open its 1999-2000 season. Come September 29, Zach -- and you -- can do the Time Warp again. Call 476-0541 for more info.