"I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey." Okay, so as a Rocky Horror super fan I obviously had to check out the FOX redo. Let me start by saying yes it was an okay delivery. With that being said, I am vaguely irritated at the mixture of staying true to the original and the massive changes that took place; either would’ve been okay, but not both.
Brilliance in the very beginning, I loved the skillful way that Ivy Levan took on "Science Fiction Double Feature" as an old time theatre usherette. The many lip close ups gave you the original feel, but also honed in on the Rocky Horror midnight showing delivery.
Brad (Ryan McCartan) and Janet (Victoria Justice) truly outdid their selves! The two of them stole the show with their OUTSTANDING vocals and true characterization. As an audience member, they really made me feel like I was right back in the original show at moments. If I am being honest, I would’ve never thought of either of them as extremely gifted individuals, but after that performance they’re at the top of the list! Who new Ryan McCartan had that voice, and when did Victoria Justice grow up and have such a maturity about her? My hat is off to the both of them.
I was appalled at the disconnect from the dynamic duo; Riff Raff (Reeve Carney) and Magenta (Christina Milian) are meant to be a sibling fortress!!! The fox depiction didn’t even portray them as siblings, or at least I did not catch anything if they did. Also, their iconic use of hands and elbows was only shown at the very end of the production. Sorely let down at the chemistry between these two, however I must say that Reeve Carney did an outstanding job at harnessing the accent and mannerism of Riff Raff; this role is by far the most vocally challenging as well, and he killed it! Christina Milian, however did NOT kill it, well in the good connotation of the word. What was the random scattered accent she had going on?! Accent, no accent, accent, no accent, accent, no accent; she just kept the audience dodging back and forth on what she was even supposed to be portraying! This saddened me greatly because I loved Christina Milian when I was a child, and Magenta is one of my favorite characters, way to crush my dreams FOX!
Now as I said before, I am a Rocky Horror super fan, so naturally I go to the midnight events every Halloween. I proudly show up annually in my Columbia costume that my mother handmade for me. So needless to say, she is my all-time favorite Rocky Horror Picture Show character. I was WELL prepared to hate whoever the person was that portrayed her, and then after it was cast and Annaleigh Ashford landed the role, I was even more prepared to hate it; but with so many things gone wrong, she was one of the few rights. I won’t say that she necessarily stayed true to the original, but she pleasantly danced back and forth across the line of the classic and the new. She embodied the true Columbia personality that is a mesh between dainty and rocker.
Adam Lambert as Eddie was a safe boring choice. Did he do well? Yes. Is his voice great? Yes. Was his performance a stand out? NO WAY! This roll, in my opinion should’ve stuck to the roots and been given to a crazy rock guru, not a pop star. Ah well it was decent at best.
Have I made you shiver with antici……………………..pation? Yes, I figured why not go out with a bang instead of start with one. We must discuss Laverne Cox as the finale. The legendary Dr. Frank-n-Furter is the one everyone wants to see, hear, and know. How well did Laverne Cox live up to this hype? Thumbs up on a crazy awesome wardrobe, makeup, and hair. Thumbs up on decent vocals for a someone who doesn’t normally sing. Thumbs WAY down on representation! I am not really sure if it’s just me, but didn’t you all think that the name was Brad Majors instead of Bread Majors? I guess we’ve all been saying it wrong for 41 years. Don’t get me wrong Laverne Cox is gorgeous, but am I the only one who thought she was too gorgeous for this role? I know there is no comparison to Tim Curry, but Frank-n-Furter is supposed to have some roughness and masculinity in him, and not to be rude, but he shouldn’t be too easy on the eyes either. Laverne Cox is a smooth, feminine, beautiful person, not necessarily fitting for the notorious Dr. Frank-n-Furter.
We still jumped to the left, stepped to the right, and bent our knees in tight, but there was a sadness in our thrusts as FOX drove us insane doing the Time Warp again; they must have been "lost in time, and lost in space… and meaning."