Previews have begun for The Rocky Horror Show which officially open on Broadway at
The Circle in the Square Theatre on Nov. 15
JOAN JETT and TOM HEWITT in The Rocky
Horror Show Photo By: Joseph Cultice
The undisputed champion of audience devotion The Rocky Horror Show is a story of
love, lust, manipulation, seduction, submission, domination, creation, satisfaction, biological
advancement and simultaneous orgasm.
Jordan Roth who produced The Donkey Show does the same for this production which
has an eclectic cast that includes Tom Hewitt, Joan Jett, Dick Cavett, Daphne Robin-Vegas, Lea
De Laria, Alice Ripley, Jarrod Emick, and Raul Esparza.
This cult phenomenon traces the bizarre adventure of the super-square Brad Majors played by
Emick and his amazingly virginal fiancee, Janet Weiss brought to life on stage by Alice Ripley.
Following Brad and Janet as they try desperately to survive the diabolical Riff-Raff - portrayed
by Raul Espinoza - his incestuously fashionable sister, Magenta, portrayed by Rubin-Vegas, her
rock-'n'-rollin' best-friend, Columbia - neatly cast in Joan Jett - her dangerous biker-boyfriend,
Eddie, known in real life as Lea DeLaria, several Transylvanians and the world's most powerful
but sweet transvestite - a man simply referred to as Frank N' Furter - that would be Tom Hewitt,
who will change their lives and libidos forever.
The Rocky Horror Show was first staged in New York in 1975 at the Belasco Theatre,
where it ran just 45 performances. Clive Barnes, then writing for the New York Times,
called it "tacky, tacky, tacky." But added: "It is ingenious, sophomoric fun."
The musical was, of course, made into a movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, that
has achieved cult status.
Also making a bizarre transition to Broadway is The Full Monty which has caught the
sophisticated Broadway community with their pants down. Those in the know anticipated that this
might be a funny show, but nobody was prepared for the graceful and hilarious transition from hit
movie to boffo Broadway.
THE MOVIE HAS BEEN TURNED INTO A
The international success of the English film The Full Monty brought an obscure British
English slang expression to wider, and puzzled, notice - which means the whole nine
It's about laid-off mill workers in Sheffield, England, who decide to raise money and their
manhood by moonlighting as male strippers.
In his Broadway production the ringleader is Patrick Wilson, his weight-challenged buddy
portrayed by John Ellison Conley. Romain Fruge plays a guy who wishes he had been born
Donald O'Connor; Jason Danieley cast as the Momma's Boy, and Marcus Neville as the nerdy
foreman are all perfect.
Terrence McNally did the book with David Yazbek making his identity mark with the music and
lyrics. Jerry Mitchell's choreography with Jack O'Brien's staging are perfect.
The Full Monty is a full-blown hit.
The American Ghost Society annually meets to mull over things that go bump in the night and
boo in the dark. Nationally known authorities and speakers on ghosts, hauntings and the
supernatural discuss and conduct workshops on such spooky subjects as ghost hunting, specter
detection equipment, conducting paranormal investigations, haunted locations and tours of
You don't have to be a member to see the aberrations. Just head over to your favorite
In Albuquerque, New Mexico the 90-year-old Lodge at Cloudcroft has an impressive list of
guests, including Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa and entertainers such as Judy
Garland, Clark Gable and Gilbert Roland. But Rebecca the ghost remains the hotel's most
famous resident. The Lodge's restaurant is named for her and fanciful representations of the
red-haired beauty are displayed here and there on the premises.
A three-dimensional image of Rebecca, resident ghost at the Lodge at Cloudcroft, gazes from the
confines of a glass case at guests and staff members as they pass through the foyer of the resort
in the Sacramento Mountains east of Alamogordo. Spectral appearances and strange goings-on
at the Lodge have been attributed to Rebecca, who, according to a legend at the Lodge,
was a flirtatious chambermaid who disappeared in the 1930s.
Hotel staff members and guests report seeing Rebecca's ghostly manifestation, or tell about
toilets that flush themselves, ashtrays that move and champagne glasses that
are filled, emptied and then break. Doors open that were closed and TVs in guest rooms
come on by themselves. Rebecca is frequently seem by guests in the bar's mirror, swaying to the
Goldfield, Nevada not only has a resident ghost, the ghostly incidents are so severe that the place
is considered a portal to the afterlife.
Prostitutes - the only occupation where you sell something without depleting the inventory -
frequently turn up a ghosts.
According to the folks who document this stuff, following the impregnation of a prostitute by
the manager of the hotel many years ago, the manager became angry at the women for the
incident and took her to his hotel. As her pregnancy became more obvious, he chained
her to the radiator in one of the rooms, and when the baby was born, he killed them both. The
hotel has been closed for many years with no power to any part of it, but on some nights there
are several lighted rooms. Workers have been hired on several different occasions to do
restoration on the hotel, and due to the many unexplained incidents, the hotel restoration
has never been completed and has changed hands several times. There have been several ghosts
seen in several parts of the hotel, including the prostitute, the original owner, and two other
men. Paranormal experts have visited the hotel many times and have determined that it is one of
the nine portals that connect our world with the spirit world.
Chicago's most famous apparition is Resurrection Mary, a young girl dressed all in white. It's said
that she hitches rides along Archer Avenue, asking motorists to drop her off at Resurrection
Cemetery. Full moons and stormy weather encourage her visits. Mary's ghost has also been seen
dancing at the nearby Willowbrook Ballroom.
MIA FARROW in Rosemary's
Chicago's Hull House established by Jane Addams in 1889 is also reportedly haunted, by the likes
of what was transformed into Rosemary's Baby. A shadowy, monk-like figure is seen in a
top floor room where strange fires break out. All because of this "Devil Baby" a demon child born
with a tail and a cigar in his mouth in the early 1900s. Actually, the Devil Baby was a deformed
infant left in Addams' care. The tail was a spinal deformity. The story became the inspiration for
the novel and film Rosemary's Baby, in which a woman played by Mia Farrow, gives birth
to the spawn of Satan.
One can't discuss Halloween without mentioning Salem, Mass. The Salem Wax Museum has a
Multimedia presentation on witch trials of 1692. The Salem Witch Museum has an exhibit,
"Witches: Evolving Perceptions." A look at the meaning of "witch" and the phenomenon of witch
hunting with dialogue from contemporary witches.
The Salem Witch Village presents Origins of Witchcraft, the truth behind legends and tradition.
Created and developed with help of Salem's witch community, it is staffed by practicing
Gordon College professional theater company produces interactive re-enactment of witchcraft
hearings of Bridget Bishop, first person hanged during Salem Witch Trials of 1692. "Cry
Innocent, the People Versus Bridget Bishop," ends Halloween.
A Vampire and Ghost Hunt Walking Tour led by a licensed ghost hunter explores Salem's past
while viewing haunted houses and cemeteries.
The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis also another place to see a ghost. In 1967, a young usher shot
himself to death in his car. Since then, his likeness has been spotted near and in the building,
including in aisle No. 18 where he worked.
The Spy House in Middleton, N.J. is a colonial plantation house turned museum which is full of
entities. Among the apparitions are a woman in white who tucks the covers into a crib or bed, then
turns and vanishes and a tall, bearded man.
The Whaley House in San Diego is Southern California's oldest two-story brick structure and
considered the most haunted house in America. Now a museum, it was completed in 1857 by
pioneer Thomas Whaley, who "never left." Other apparitions include a crying baby and even a
USS HORNET said to be
Lloyd Auerback, an adjunct professor at JFK University if a real life ghostbuster. His Office of
Paranormal Investigations in based in Pleasant Hill, Ca. He's penned Psychic Dreaming, Mind
Over Matter and ESP, Hauntings and Poltergeists. His current project is
investigating the haunting of the USS Hornet, a World War II aircraft carrier that fought off
enemy attacks 59 times and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in one
week. The Hornet is the carrier that recovered the Apollo II space capsule containing the first
astronauts to walk on the moon.
But the vessel's biggest claim the fame may be that it has "more spirits than a vodka
Ghosts of dead sailors are routinely spotted walking through the ship disappearing down dead-end
corridors, climbing down ladders and watching over the ship. The rank of the Navy ghosts can
even be determined by their uniform.
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THE MAGICAL MYSTICAL MURDER
MYSTERY DINNER THEATER
Murder Mystery Trains, Murder Mystery Mansions, Murder Mystery Cruises, Murder At The
Mardi Gras, Murder At The Ball Park, Murder In The Haunted Mansion, Holiday Murder
Mystery Parties. Murder On New Year's Eve or any other night you can conjure up.
If you haven't attended a murder mystery dinner, you're not in the loop.
All across the country there are a plethora of people who are dying to die while dining. The
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre has become a big money operation.
Producers, Joni and Ron Pacie, members of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America have
been slaying audiences, to rave reviews, all over the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and the
Orient. Their successful Off-Broadway show Murder At Midnight which ran in
New York City expanded to Philadelphia, Baltimore, California and even opened in Rome, Italy
to great reviews.
Murder Mystery Inc. opened it's hit Murdered By The Mob in - where else - New Jersey,
March of 1997 and then took it to New York City and then on to Florida.
While the dinner mystery theater concept is surviving and thriving the big money comes from
private and corporate affairs.
Murder Mystery INC. has been producing, directing, and writing audience participatory
murder mysteries for and entertaining V.I.P.'s such as the Ambassador of Thailand, Donald
Trump, Tony Bennett, former Mayor David Dinkins of N.Y., Alan Alda, Broadway Producer
Roger Berlind, and Arthur Levitt Jr., head of the SEC. They have presented shows for over 400
Fortune 1000 companies including corporate giants like IBM, AT&T, Estee Lauder, Bank of
America, Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, American Cyanamid, Ralph Lauren, Escada, Union
Carbide, Sandoz Pharmaceutical, NBC, MTV, McCalls, and General Electric to name a few.
Joni and Ron Pacie have also worked on charitable events with the late Princess
Diana, Colin Powell, Barbara Walters, and Henry Kissinger and Nick Emanuele, Labor
Chairman, and United Cerebral Palsy.
Since opening her Burbank, CA based Dial M Murder Mysteries in 1985, producer-director
Peggy Phillips, offers several events including a murder mystery show A Dinner You'll Die
For, and The Witch's Brew, a Halloween scavenger hunt and mystical seance theme
JAYNE & ERIC POST star in the Las Vegas show at
The Egg & I restaurant
Phillips stressed to her potential customers that "Unlike other companies, Dial M does not hire
waiters to deliver a loosely written scrip. We hire only the most talented, professional, Union
actors in Los Angeles. By combining the best talent, a live musical score and professional
writers and directors, we can create shows that are not only suitable for the general public, but
especially designed for the elite Fortune 500 companies. We are very well known for our large
events taking place in all of the major Nevada Casinos."
Las Vegas has a murder mystery dinner which recently moved from the Showboat Hotel to The
Egg and I restaurant.
Produced by Jayne Eric Post of Post Productions the murder mystery performers have included
one of Wayne Newton's backup singers and the creative team is composed of Hollywood Emmy
Terrorfest 2000, is overnight mystery-dinner event; staged Chameleons, the Whodunit
Company at Snowbird Resort, outside of Salt Lake City
Naturally Salem, Mass has their own dinner mystery The Haunted Dinner Theater presented
Good Will Haunting, as part of Salem's Haunted Happenings.
Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska stages plays among the tombstones. Their first production
was - appropriately enough - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
The cemetery has an open-air carriage house and serious consideration is being given to making
the site home to an Elizbethan-style theater. Renovating the carriage house is part of Wyuka's
ongoing plan to draw people to the 131-year-old cemetery, which was known for its park-like
setting in its early days.
Recent improvements include a new funeral home and cemetery entrance and restoration of a
maintenance building and pond. The big question facing Wyuka's trustees was what to do with the
carriage house. A feasibility study recommended a theater. But before any work or fund raising
begins, the trustees want to see if the concept flies with ticket buyers or - dies.
EATING UP CULINARY MYSTERY
Tasty tales of death and danger against a backdrop of restaurants, cooking and delicious food.
The amateur sleuths are chefs, restaurant critics, caterers and even diet counselors.
This Little Piggy Went to Murder, Fat-Free and Fatal and Too Many Cooks Spoil
the Broth, and some even include recipes that might just be to die for.
GEORGE SEGAL, JACQUELINE
BISSET and ROBERT MORLEY in Who Is Killing The Great Chefs of Europe?
In the 1930s, Rex Stout wrote Too Many Cooks, starring sleuth Nero Wolfe and several
recipes. In 1976, Nan and Ivan Lyons published Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs of
Europe, where the chefs' murders coincide with their signature dishes a French chef
known for pressed duck is found with his head in a duck press, for instance. That book was
made into a movie which starred George Segal, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Morley, Jean-Pierre
Cassel, Philipe Noiret, and Jean Rochefort
Bisset played "Natasha," a world-class pastry chef. When various other chefs are bumped-off,
one-by-one, both she and her ex-husband, "Robby" - a fast-food entrepreneur, played by
George Segal - fall under suspicion.
Filmed in London, Paris, and Venice the movie garnered Golden Globe nominations for Bisset as
Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical and Robert Morley who played "Max", the great
connoisseur and food writer received his nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
The screenplay by Peter Stone based on a novel Someone is Killing the Great Chefs of
Europe by Nan and Ivan Lyons; was going to be the name of the movie, too. Promotional
material was printed up with that title. Then Farrah Fawcett's movie - her first starring
role, post-Angels was released with the title Somebody Killed Her Husband. So
the title of this movie was changed to avoid confusion.
Who is Killing The Great Chefs of Europe was directed by Ted Kotcheff with music by
In the early 1980s, Virginia Rich, former food editor of Sunset magazine, created a mystery
series with recipes that included The Cooking School Murders.
In the late 1980s, a Colorado writer, Diane Mott Davidson, was inspired while watching the
comings and goings in a neighborhood cafe/catering business. She penned "Catering to
Nobody," in which caterer Goldy Bear tracks down the person who poisoned the coffee she was
serving. Her second book, Dying for Chocolate, hit the bestseller list.
Lou Jane Temple, is author of Bread on Arrival, Death by Rhubarb, A Stiff Risotto and
Revenge of the Barbecue Queens. In Bread on Arrival, sassy chef Heaven Lee
attends a bread-making convention where a fellow chef ends up murdered in a pan of dough.
Television gave many real-life chefs celebrity status, creating interest in the culinary
"Being a chef is a very sexy thing in America right now; it's like being a rock star in the '70s,"
Temple said. Temple and Phyllis Richman, author of The Butter Did It and Murder on
the Gravy Train, recently spoke on a panel on culinary mysteries in Kansas City, Mo. Both
write from personal experience.
Temple was a chef and caterer. Richman recently retired as restaurant critic for the
Washington Post where she was known as "One of the Most Feared Women in Washington."
Temple said her writing career arose from a loss. In 1992, her Kansas City restaurant, Cafe Lulu,
folded. "It was always packed with people and a fun place to go, but it could never be profitable,"
she said. She worked as a caterer to pay the bills, and freelanced a wine column for the
Kansas City Star.
She sold her first book, "Death by Rhubarb" in 1994 and is now working on a story based in New
Orleans, "Red Beans and Vice."
"Phyllis and I can stay in business if we can keep coming up with bad food puns," Temple
SCIENCE SLEUTH THEATER
has been established thanks to Novelist Patricia Cornwell, whose latest novel is The Last
Precinct. The author donated $250,000 to the Science Museum of Virginia to create an
interactive forensics game and exhibit called "Science Sleuth Theater." Cornwell attended
the opening accompanied by medical examiner Dr. Marcella Fierro, who served as the inspiration
for her fictitious heroine Kay Scarpetta. In the Science Sleuth Theater game, crime buffs are given
a scenario and collect clues, including DNA evidence and information on what fictional victims
may have eaten before dying.
The American Theatre Wing, Roy A. Somlyo, President, continues to provide an enlightening,
behind-the-scenes theatrical experience. On October 31st, November 1st & 2nd, are the ATW
"Working in the Theatre" Seminars where star-studded panels comprised of Broadway and
Off-Broadway's major theatre personalities provide some of the most entertaining and informative
discussions on theatre today.
Now in their 28th year, the Seminars are held every Fall and Spring. The panels bring together
theatre's best known performers, producers, playwrights, directors, choreographers, composers,
agents and others.
WHEN: Tuesday, OCTOBER 31:
Playwright/Director/Choreographer seminar 11am-1pm
David Aubrun (Proof playwright"), Charles Bush (playwright/actor), George Faison
(director & choreographer), David Marques (Choreographer), Jerry Mitchell (choreographer),
John Rando (director). Moderator: Theadore Chapin (President Rodgers & Hammerstein
WHEN: Wednesday, NOVEMBER 1: Production Seminar The Full Monty
Thomas Hall & Lindsay Law (producers), Michael Hartman (press), Jack O'Brien (director),
Charlotte Wilcox (general manager), David Yazbek (composer). Moderator: Roy A.
WHEN: Wednesday, NOVEMBER 1: Composer & Lyricists Seminar 11am-1 pm
Susan Birkenhead, Fred Ebb, Marvin Hamlisch, John Kander, Charles Strouse, Don Schlitz.
Moderator: Peter Stone (playwright)
WHEN: Thursday, NOVEMBER 2:L Performance Seminar 11am-1 pm
Len Cariou (The Dinner Party), Patrick Cassidy (Annie Get Your Gun), Andre De
Shields (The Fully Monty), Mary-Louise Parker (Proof,) Michael Learned (The
Best Man), Marian Seldes (The Butterfly Collection). Moderator: Pia
WHERE: The Graduate Center of
the City University of New York NYC.
cabaret sensation praised for his performance in Stephen Sondheim's
just-produced first musical, Saturday Night performs November 2- 5. Orange
County Performing Arts Center, CA
DAVID BENOIT in concert
performing the music of Peanuts: Here's To You Charlie Brown November 5 at the Cerritos
Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos, CA.
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN takes
center stage on October 29 in Englewood, NJ at the John Harris Center for the Performing Arts with
Maynard Ferguson Big Band. Then on November 4 it's Schnectady, NY at Proctor's Theatre with
SHIRLEY CAESAR November 1-2 in
Chicago, IL at the New Regal Theater.
CAROL KANE, PHYLICIA RASHAD and KIMBERLY
WILLIAMS do their turn in The Vagina Monologues at
the Canon Theatre, Los Angeles October 31-November 19.
LEGENDARY LADIES OF ROCK n' ROLL that would be Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Shirley Alston Reeves, The
Crystals and The Shangri-Las at the Stardust Hotel, Las Vegas November 2-4.
Iowa State Center, Stephens Auditorium, Ames. The production features the Royal Winnipeg
Ballet.Choreographer Mark Godden's take on Bram Stoker's gothic drama invokes some serious
blood lust - particularly when a nearly nude wolfman engages an impassioned beauty. Set to
music by Gustav Mahler, this Dracula scores as a big dramatic event -- sex, gargoyles, a
decapitation, what more do you want in a piece of entertainment? A sellout when it premiered in
Winnipeg in October 1998, Dracula has toured to critical acclaim Oct. 31. Tickets $10
THE HEAD A DISEMBODIED COMEDY
by William S. Leavengood opens November 3rd. David Young and
Norma Langworthy, in association with The Riverside Stage Company, presents the
world premiere of William S. Leavengoods' The Head directed by Brian Feehan. The
Head,1999 winner of the Riverside Stage Companies national Founder's Day New Playwrights
Award began last Wednesday and opens November 3rd at The Chelsea Playhouse, NYC.
Set in the 1930's in a secret underground laboratory just outside of London, four bumbling
crooks, which includes a gangster, a giant, a dwarf and a Pakistani mystic, attempt to kidnap a
martini drinking, song composing disembodied head, a mad scientist and his wife.
The cast of The Head includes Andrew Coleman, Jay Rodgers, Jay Rosenbloom,
Aaron J. Fili, Kaleo Griffith, Heather Anne McAllister, and Branislav Tomich. Set design is by
Dan Kuchar, lighting design is by Chad McArver, costume design is by Mira Goldberg.
The Riverside Stage Company is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to developing and
presenting new American plays, and fostering a new generation of playwrights, actors and
3HREE is a new production by the
20 Tony Award winning Hal Prince. 3hree, an evening of three one-act musicals which
dovetail, was specifically written for the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia. The production
features composers Laurence O'Keefe, cabaret songwriter John Bucchino, and Robert
Lindsey-Nassif; directors Scott Schwartz, and Brad Rouse, and choreographer Rob Ashford.
3hree has performances at the Prince Music Theater, Philadelphia, to November 19
THIS AND THAT
HUGH HEFNER'S HALLOWEEN PARTY at the Playboy Mansion had so many people trying to wrangle an invite
that weeks ago organizers closed the list to men, and women who wanted an invitation were
asked to submit photos first.
JOHN TRAVOLTA dresses up like
a skeleton on Halloween. He thinks the costume makes him look thinner.
STING says his favorite card in
the Tarot deck is ... Death "My favorite tarot card is Death....how strong are the feelings this
card inspires in me. Death symbolizes ultimate challenge and the end of illusion"
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Next Column: November 5, 2000
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