The seasons are finally showing signs of changing here in San Antonio. Halloween is just around the corner, and that can mean only one thing: It’s time for the Woodlawn Theatre’s annual production of The Rocky Horror Show, starring a RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant.
This year, Season Seven runner-up Ginger Minj takes the stage as Frank-n-Furter in a punky version of the musical that utilizes the concurrently-running American Idiot stage to good effect.
In keeping with the nostalgic ’80s punk theme, conductor Hector Serna has fun adding juice to some of the musical arrangements, and the colorful cast really gets into it. Director Greg Hinojosa keeps it all moving at lightning speed, and — since he also designed the costumes — there’s plenty of sparkle to capture the eye. Throw in a couple of fun flying sequences (Frank’s entrance, Riff Raff and Magenta’s final exit) and you’ve got a lively show tailor-made for audiences in search of some late-night naughty fun.
Minj makes for a manic Frank, reminiscent of the late, great Divine in her outrageous approach. Her revealing costumes (including tattered fishnet stockings and red “X” pasties) are wonderfully tacky, and her line readings are pure camp heaven. She’s got good pipes, too. Alonzo Corona, who also created the dynamic choreography, is an appropriately stuffy Brad, well-matched by Alison Hinojosa as the too-saccharine Janet. Local transgender performer Amber Nixx Armendariz is a fine Magenta, and Travis Trevino displays terrific vocal ability as Riff Raff.
Anthony Cortino brings the muscle as Rocky, and David Blazer is fun as the Narrator, wandering offstage to sit next to audience members as he relates the familiar tale. Filling out the main cast to good effect are Gianna Rodriguez as Columbia, Michael J. Gonzales as Eddie and Robert Moritz as the wheelchair-bound Dr. Scott.
Gleeful vulgarity is what it’s all about in this show, and between Minj’s hilariously blue utterances and the “audience participation” emanating from the back of the theater, it’s certainly not for those with delicate dispositions. But when was Rocky Horror ever intended to be — onscreen or onstage?
The Rocky Horror Show plays Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 11 p.m. through October 31 at the Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio. Reservations can be made online or by calling (210) 267-8388. The Woodlawn is also offering a “late night date night double feature” package of both Rocky Horror and American Idiot. See details online.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B012Z2NQCE]