Sunday, June 24, 2018
Stage

New Rocky Horror show in Carrollwood emerges from time warp

CARROLLWOOD — A new live stage production of Rocky Horror Picture Show opens next week (Jan. 6) with the organizers hoping to bring inclusivity and acceptance to the forefront.

Susan Belliveau, 26, is the producer and Sam Burke, 27, is the director of the show, which will be at midnight Fridays, beginning Jan. 6, at the Villiago Cinemas.

With the nation divided on political and social issues, "we came about a really good time," said Burke, a 2008 theater graduate of Blake High School and a student at Hillsborough Community College who wants to purse a degree in theater or film.

"There are lots of problems in the world and we want people to embrace and support" each other, Burke said.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical comedy about a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle, where they meet a group of strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. At the castle, they encounter the Frank N. Furter, an apparent mad scientist who actually is an alien transvestite who creates a living muscle man in his laboratory.

In 1976, the film started drawing crowds, many dressed as the characters, to midnight showings in New York and became a classic.

Burke met Belliveau through various theater roles and decided to create the new company, Hell on Heels, to produce the show.

The cast formed in the spring using actors each had known through other productions or school. The show had its debut in June at the Carrollwood Players celebration of the LGBT community and it includes 27 members. About 20 members, including technicians, will appear at any given performance.

"The cast really bonded and we want to bring the audience and build on that in the community," said Belliveau, who graduated from Wesley Chapel High in 2008 and attends the University of South Florida, with a major in theater and minor in business.

The production uses "shadow casting" with the actors on stage, the movie playing in the background and the actors mimicking it. She said the audience can't join the actors on stage but can participate from the floor with costumes, shouting and cheers.

They chose the Villagio because it was locally owned and agreeable. (A theater group also used to present at the now-closed Tampa Pitcher Show but the new company has no affiliation with it, Belliveau said).

"Anybody could be a good Rocky performer, but finding a welcoming accepting experience is what it all about," Belliveau said. "You get to come out at midnight, throw things in the air, scream and start your weekend on a positive note."

The new company also hopes to eventually do charity work for local organizations, including those that serve the LGBT community.

"The cast is so invested in creating this as an inclusive welcoming community," Burke said. "People should have a commonality. At the end of the day, we are all human beings."

Contact Lenora Lake at [email protected]

Comments
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

TAMPA — The virtues of Dancing at Lughnasa, with which Jobsite Theater closes its season, are many. This drama by the celebrated Brian Friel opened in 1990 to much acclaim. It captures a family’s joys and sadnesses, and the quickness with which one s...
Published: 06/19/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/15/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

GULFPORT — Brianna Melton is as serious a ballet student as they come.By her junior year at St. Petersburg High’s International Baccalaureate program, she had already spent four summers training with ballet companies across the country and had narrow...
Published: 06/14/18
What’s on stage: The Illusionists, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa,’ G. David Howard

What’s on stage: The Illusionists, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa,’ G. David Howard

OPENING: DANCING AT LUGHNASAIrish playwright Brian Friel, who died in 2015 at 86, won’t be traveling anymore. But I’ll bet he packed a tidy suitcase. Dancing at Lughnasa, Jobsite Theater’s season closer, manages to address a lot of issues: race, reli...
Published: 06/13/18
Ruth Eckerd Hall tees up comedy, romance and Kristin Chenoweth for 2018-19 Broadway season

Ruth Eckerd Hall tees up comedy, romance and Kristin Chenoweth for 2018-19 Broadway season

Ruth Eckerd Hall rolls out a new lineup of musicals for its 2018-19 season, a mix of comedy, favorite musicals and romance."For the last 35 years, Broadway has always been a staple at Ruth Eckerd Hall," chief executive officer Zev Buffman said in a p...
Published: 06/12/18
A tense night at the Tony Awards ends in euphoria for Largo doctor Jeffrey Grove

A tense night at the Tony Awards ends in euphoria for Largo doctor Jeffrey Grove

Dr. Jeffrey Grove sat three-quarters of the way back from the stage at Radio City Music Hall, waiting for his moment. The Largo physician made the trip with family to New York for Sunday’s Tony Awards, where he hoped to see his investment in O...
Published: 06/11/18
Neal Boyd, ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner, dies at 42

Neal Boyd, ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner, dies at 42

SIKESTON, Mo. — Neal Boyd, an opera singer who won America’s Got Talent and dabbled in Missouri politics, has died. Scott County Coroner Scott Amick says Boyd died around 6 p.m. Sunday at his mother’s house in Sikeston. He was 42. Amick says Boyd had...
Published: 06/11/18
Parkland drama teens bring down the house with stirring performance at Tony Awards

Parkland drama teens bring down the house with stirring performance at Tony Awards

Members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s drama team stole the show at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards Sunday night.The performance brought the crowd— many of whom were wiping tears from their eyes— to its collective feet at the Radio City Music ...
Published: 06/11/18