So I saw the new Rocky Horror Picture Show. The performers were talented and gave their all, but I don’t think that the production displayed the outrageous flair, uninhibited liveliness and sassy cockiness (no pun intended) that such a sex-maddened rock-and-roll show needs — and that the original 1975 movie delivered in abundance.
The whole presentation seemed to lack conviction. The showcase “Time Warp” dance sequence, for instance, seemed under-powered and under-populated rather than a big, wild party. As a whole, the show seemed unsure about whether it was a movie, a filmed stage performance, or something else.
The performers nearly made up for these drawbacks, though. Laverne Cox as the playfully perverse Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Victoria Justice as the innocent Janet were particularly alive on screen, reacting to every passing moment with clear, strong and often funny responses. Christina Milian’s apparent glee at playing the creepy Magenta felt contagious. And Annaleigh Ashford as the tap-dancing groupie Columbia and Ivy Levan as the usherette who opened and closed the show were just plain fun to watch.
I just realized that I’ve singled out only the women. The guys were good, too — but what was with Ben Vereen’s eyebrows? They looked like thick patches of Velcro. And I felt sad whenever Tim Curry appeared as the criminologist; he looked as if he were still suffering the effects of his stroke, as if merely speaking were an effort.
Overall, the new ROCKY HORROR was worth seeing, but it didn’t live up to the original.
On the other hand, what could?