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Oh, <i>Rocky</i>, the <i>Horror</i>
Savannah Actors Theatre gets ready to do the Time Warp again

It’s just a jump to the left -- and then a step to the right.

The folks at the Savannah Actors Theatre, bless their hearts, are ready to take us all on a strange journey, that same strange journey experienced by Janet and Brad. And it’s all coming just in time for Halloween, with performances set for Oct. 25 through Nov. 10.

The Rocky Horror Show was written by Richard O’Brien. Over the past 35 or so years, it’s become America’s most famous -- and beloved -- cult musical.

The SAT production is directed by Jeffrey DeVincent, with choreography by Sasha McCurdy and musical direction by Ryan McCurdy. “It’s so tight and so beautiful and I’m so proud,” Sasha says.

Sasha is delighted that DeVincent, a Savannah College of Art and Design theater professor, is directing. “He’s the papa we depend on,” she says. “It feels like we’re all family. Everyone from Day One has been so dedicated. It’s the best Rocky ever.”

The show is resulting in new friendships. “The cast has really jelled,” Sasha says. “It’s been a process of bringing SCAD and the community together. It’s a really nice blend.”

There are 20 in the cast. “We’ve been working late and getting up early,” Sasha says. “It’s Rocky, so everyone is so gung ho.

“We ask someone to do something -- build sets, made costumes -- and they just want to be there,” she says. “People who work with this show do become family.”

And not just for the run of the production -- they become friends for life. “Rocky was my first professional show in Dallas in 2001,” Sasha says. “I still talk to my fellow cast members.”

The show is perfect for Halloween, Sasha says. “We encourage people to come in costume,” she says. “We’re going to have costume contests.”

The steps to the Time Warp will be taught before each performance. “We want everyone to jump in and do the dances,” Sasha says.

Not everyone in the cast is a dancer, but everyone dances. “You sing six lines and then you’re dancing again,” Sasha says. “It never stops.”

Never seen The Rocky Horror Show or the film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show? “Don’t come in with any preconceived notions,” Sasha advises.

“It’s not serious is any way, shape or form,” she says. “It becomes an audience participation show.”

There will be 14 performances in all. “This one is rated R,” Sasha says. “We’re not recommending this for anyone under 18 without their parents.”

Above all, The Rocky Horror Show is a musical. “It has some of the most familiar melodies in all of musical theater,” Ryan says. “A lot of people don’t know how complex the music is.”

So many talented people showed up to audition, even the background vocals are sung in harmony. “This production is more about a group sound,” Ryan says.

The show features a four-member band. “It’s a very, very rock-based band,” Ryan says. “In the original production, before the film came out, they used a band that was really quite loud.”

Rocky is wildly popular. “I’ve never known anyone who has a negative experience with Rocky,” Ryan says. “It’s such a freeing show, because it’s so crazy.”

The cast is having a good time, Ryan says. “It’s really just a ‘Let’s have a good time’ show,” he says. “The more of a good time the cast is having, the more polished the production will look.”

Expect to see even more Rocky in the future. “We’re going to make it a Halloween tradition, so come and get started at the very beginning,” Ryan says. “It’s going to sound and look awesome. We ended up doing so many serious shows this season, that it’s nice to have a little bit of zaniness this time of year.”

Don’t wait long to get tickets. “A lot of people are calling for tickets,” Ryan says. “Some shows are already selling out.”

Performances of The Rocky Horror Show will be held Oct. 25, 26, 27, 30, 31 and Nov. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. with special midnight performances on Oct. 30 and 31 and Nov. 1 at the Savannah Actor’s Theatre, 703D Louisville Rd. Tickets are $15 general and $10 student/senior/military. For tickets, call 232-6080.