Sex in Theater Five
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
[ Additional Info ]
On September 15th 1998, the Bay Area Rocky Family (B.A.R.F.) once again proved anything is possible. Twenty-seven talented, dedicated but very warped individuals came together and formed Northern California's first ever-live Shock Treatment cast. The cast, known as Sex in Theater Five included members of Berkeley's Barely Legal, Fremont's Bawdy Caste, Sacramento's Under Sedation and Special help from the New York City cast.
Sex in Theater Five was the culmination of the dreams of several Rocky Horror cast members. For two years prior Barely Legal's "More Drunk" Brady Ferguson had pushed and pushed for a live cast of Shock. But things began to happen when Carmelo Pool and Gilbert Lopez of The Bawdy Caste sat down with their friend Anthony Miller and showed him Shock Treatment.
"By Farley's Song I was petty much in love with the movie" Says Miller. "By Lullaby I turned to Carmelo and said we have GOT to start a cast".
Casting immediately began, first off Brady was asked "I would have been offended if you didn't ask me" were his exact words. Soon other members of the Bawdy Caste and Barely Legal were in. But one final person had to be added. Dan "Nad" Britt of the Bawdy Caste was named Producer and head of Marketing/Promotions. Along with his best friend and partner Richard Chaffino they produced work of great caliber. When the Bawdy Caste moved into it's new home in Fremont the magic really began.
Within two weeks the show was cast and rehearsal dates were being set. Anthony Miller was named Cast Director, Carmelo Pool and Brady Ferguson were named as Assistant Directors. Kim Bird the General Manager of the Fremont Hub Cinema was named the third Producer. The performance date was set for September 15th and the pressure was on.
2 Months, 3 late night rehearsals and lots of blocking changes later, it was one week till the show. "Anyhow, Anyhow became my personal anthem, I think I must of overloaded on optimism" Says Anthony.
"One night that comes to mind is the rehearsal one week before the show. We decided to do the show twice. Once with the video starting and stopping then the second time with the actual film. By the end of the first rehearsal everyone was exhausted. It was 2am, and everyone had their doubts. But when that print rolled and I saw the movie on the big screen, it was almost magical. The whole cast became energetic and optimistic. The feeling of utter joy can't be described"
One week later, the big night came Anthony spent about 45 minutes checking every last detail and just watching the ticket sales meter.
At 12:15am Mad Man Mike, president of the Shock Treatment Fan Club took the mic and began the auction. The auction was a huge success raising almost 300 dollars for the cast fund. Afterwards some trailers were shown. The first was for "Pecker" the John Waters film starring Anthony's favorite star Christina Ricci. Then came Dark City, which came courtesy of Bill Brennan, Vice President of the Shock Fan Club. Finally was Spice World a personal favorite of Gilbert Lopez who played Vance Parker. As the Trailers ended Mad Man announced the cast.
The show was electric, the energy on stage could have powered Las Vegas. Paramount Performances were given by Gregg Pollack as Farley Flavors. Shannon "Shan-Shan Harding's rear end wowed and impressed audiences. Nate's Hair and Brigid McGuiness of Barely Legal made a very impressive Cosmo and Nation. "This was one of the most solid casts I had ever seen" commented Mad Man Mike. Gilbert Lopez gave a rocking performance as Vance the Skankin Cop during "Bitchin in the Kitchen". All 24-cast members gave great performances. A very special mention goes to Jennifer La Terza of Barely Legal who learned the role of Brenda Drill in just 5 days.
What made the performance special were not just the cast but the creativity. Every cast member had some kind of idea to contribute, which made it truly a collaborative effort. Highlights were the audience running to their seats at the beginning of the movie and the amazing participation of the audience members. Also "Farley's Song" showed great innovation with the use of closed circuit television. Farley was filmed live off to the side while the full choreography was performed with the television projecting Farley in all his glory.
Sex in Theater Five was a true labor of love. It couldn't have been accomplished without the talent and dedication of everyone involved. The best news of all came at the end of the show when the attendance was announced. 244 people had attended that night, going beyond anyone's expectations and earning the cast another show in Fremont.
"It captured the true essence of Rocky, that people can put aside differences and dedicate their time and energy to something and make it truly great. It was not driven by egos or costumes or resources but love." Commented Producer and Rest Home Ricky "Nad" Britt.
After the performance dates were set for second and third shows. The cast went to Las Vegas and performed a great Preshow entitled "Duel Duet, Alternate Version". Cast Director, Anthony Miller was named West Coast representative of the Shock Treatment Fan Club.
"If you ever have or had the desire to perform Shock, go out and do it. Get together with another cast and do it. Make it happen, all you need is love, energy and dedication" Says a very emphatic Anthony Miller.
Other casts are starting to heed the call. The Vicarious Theatre Company in Seattle, Washington AND Broadway Bound and Gagged in Tempe, Arizona are already making plans for next summer.
The Future holds great things for Sex in Theater Five. With their next show scheduled for December 11th in Fremont and a show scheduled for January in Berkeley, Shock Treatment is alive and well in the Bay Area.