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City Circle Acting performs The Rocky Horror Show

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | OCTOBER 27, 2011 7:20 AM

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The actors in The Rocky Horror Show aren't afraid to rub up against each other with pelvic thrusts. The lead character, Frank-N-Furter, struts across a dance-studio floor singing about being a sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.

City Circle Acting Company members developed a chemistry while working in Hairspray together, so this intimate acting experience is comfortable.

"There is a lot of touching, so because we already knew each other, we didn't need that introductory stage," said Elizabeth Breed, Magenta in the musical. "We've become more of a company as opposed to just being a cast."

The actors will put on their version of the cult classic at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth St. Admission is $17 for students and seniors, $22 for adults, and $27 for premium seating.

The production may not be family friendly, but the comedy will have adult audiences doubled over in laughter.

At the beginning of the show, the audience is introduced to Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, a newly engaged couple who are driving to see their friend Dr. Scott. When their car gets a flat tire, the two travel to the nearest castle to find help.

Michael Penick, who plays Majors, described the show as getting swept into several crazy and sexual situations.

"I can definitely relate to the more conservative half of my character," Penick said. "But I am a little out of my element by the end of the show."

Playing characters outside of their comfort zone is something a lot of the actors face.

Victoria Vaughn, a senior at Regina High, had a difficult time persuading her parents to let her act in the musical.

Coming from a Catholic school, she said, the dance moves are one part that challenge her. She describes her character, Columbia, as ladylike, except when it comes to Frank-N-Furter and his creator, Eddie. She is madly in love with both men and spends the musical torn about who will win her heart.

"I think we are staying pretty true to the movie," Vaughn said. "We are adding our own elements to make it our own, but Rocky Horror fans will love it."

Even though this will be a live performance — the company doesn't plan on showing the movie version — there is still a lot of audience participation.

A contest will be held before each show in which audience members can compete to be able to sing a number. The only catch is that the audience is not allowed to bring any props.

The company, however, will sell goody bags containing toast, playing cards, toilet paper, and flower petals, so the audience can get more involved with the performance.

During the Halloween season, venues produce The Rocky Horror Show all over the country, and the shows have committed audiences. In addition to this show, the Iowa City area will also provide fans with a midnight showing of the raunchy musical at the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington St., on Saturday.

For audience members seeing the musical for the first time, it may come as a shock, and they might not fully understand the story line.

Justin Mangich, a former DITV employee, thinks the reason for this is because of his character, Frank-N-Furter, who is clad in a corset, booty shorts with a cup, and red platform high heels.

"Frank-N-Furter is a huge stretch from any character I have every played, but I like the challenge," Mangich said. "I wanted to explore my range as an actor with this character, and plus, it's fun to play the bad guy."

Director Chris Okiishi gave the actors a pep talk before rehearsal: "The show is proving to be so delightfully fun. You even showed up in my dreams last night."

He then sat in the wings, making notes and singing along with the cast.


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