The freaks came out at night

Since presenting its venue as a sacrificial offering for the annual Transylvania convention, Club Menagerie will never be the same again, nor does it want to be.

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By Toni Wisner / Staff Writer

By Toni Wisner / Staff Writer

Since presenting its venue as a sacrificial offering for the annual Transylvania convention, Club Menagerie will never be the same again, nor does it want to be.

Other worldly drama queens clad in lingerie and lipstick transported their wickedly good looks from planet Transsexual Transylvania to the Riverside mainstay for a delightfully quirky production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

With no cover charge for the show, devoted customers and vulnerable virgins of the 35-year- old cult classic musical, quickly gathered in the historic downtown Riverside club to find their seat.

Playing the unemotional Riff Raff in the musical was club owner David St. Pierre, who it seemed couldn’t have been happier with the full house.

“This is the most extensive show that we’ve ever done,” he said.

The stage production was produced by veteran drag performer, Philip Bailey, and presented by Cassi’s Capers acting troupe.

Bailey also produces other musicals performed once a month at Club Menagerie, but this performance was especially meaningful.

Bailey convincingly portrayed Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s colorfully dramatic female servant, Magenta and finally became a part of it all.

“When I was 14-years-old, I snuck into the Marketplace Theater in Long Beach to experience my first viewing of the movie,” Bailey said. “As a kid, I felt like I never fit in anywhere, but from that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

Before the show began, two creatures of the night warmed up the audience by strutting from table to table warmly greeting guests while wearing fancy tuxedos, high heels and sparkling rhinestones which were glued to the top of their already lustrous bald heads.

The creatures then conducted a virgin hunt which singled out those in the audience who had not yet seen the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

After gathering their victims, they were asked to stand and repeat out loud the pledge of allegiance to the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

With the dimming of the house lights, the show finally started. Although a few minutes late, it quickly moved from one amusing scene to the next, opening with the stoic narration wonderfully read by Riverside local Chip Letzgus.

From the report book, “The Denton Affair,” Letzgus chronicles the journey of a newly engaged couple who happens upon a spooky castle in a desolate area after their car suffers a flat tire on a cold rainy night.

Dr. Frank-N-Furter was fittingly played by Riverside local Jaime Stewart, who in five inch heels and on a very space challenged stage, consistently kept the audience’s attention with his unabashed performance.

Despite in house sound issues, actors Russell Currington and Rebecca Payne, who played engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, sang beautifully.

As they walked through the audience the creatures of the night stood on the stage precociously spraying the crowd with water, re-enacting the rain soaked scene from the original movie.

Fun was had by the audience and cast alike, and as the show ended with raucous applause, the cast gave a humble bow.

The cast funded production was worth every penny spent, and every sequin sewn.

If local fans had it their way, they would jump to the left then step to the right, and with a pelvic thrust which may drive you insane, they would eagerly demand to do the time warp again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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