San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

So, come up to the lab, and see MTC’s latest creation

The Musical Theatre club blew away both old fans and “virgins” with their production of “The Rocky Horror Show”
Gwenyth Hoebing
The cast of “The Rocky Horror Show” gather around Phoebe Appel as Dr. Scott.

The Musical Theatre Club united devoted cult fans and newcomers, informally referred to as “virgins,” for a night of laughter, gasps, awe and tension for their four performances of “The Rocky Horror Show” from Nov. 9 through Nov. 12. 

The cultural significance of “The Rocky Horror Show” has contributed to the musical’s cult status. LGBTQ+ representation, audience participation, midnight showings, iconic soundtrack and timeless themes of pushing societal norms uniquely distinguish it from other shows on the musical market. 

The experimental theater quickly filled up with ticket-holding friends, family and fellow peers eagerly anticipating a glimpse of the show for Musical Theatre Club’s opening performance on Nov. 9. 

From start to finish, the show demonstrated a well-put-together immersive experience. The dedication of the creative team, crew and actors was evident throughout the evening, as seen in the detailed sets, costumes and praiseworthy performances.

Caroline Lannes, a senior television, film and new media production major, as well as a seasoned Rocky Horror Show viewer, vouched for the performances living up to the hype, expressing a thorough approval of the casting choices.  

“I was most anticipating seeing Alana’s performance as Janet because I had heard such wonderful things and I wanted to see how good she was for myself,” Lannes said. “And she did live up to the anticipation. The voice she put on to perform as Janet was so hilarious, it fit perfectly… it completely blew me away. Everyone was perfectly cast from Andy as Frank-N-Furter to Sierra as Magenta. Truly professional work by the Musical Theater Club.”

One of the most well-known scenes in the show is Frank-N-Furter’s entrance, paired with the performance of “Sweet Transvestite.” Andy Elden, who played Frank-N-Furter in the show, made jaws drop throughout the entirety of his performance. 

Andy Elden makes his grand entrance as Frank-N-Furter, eliciting waves of hoots and hollers during his performance of “Sweet Transvestite.” (Gwenyth Hoebing)

Elden’s glammed-out entrance elicited waves of cheers, hoots and hollers. His effortless transitions between sensual moments to more emotional moments were surely noticed by the crowd. 

Elden described the emotional connection he has to Frank-N-Furter’s character, and explained how his portrayal of the iconic character serves as an exploration of his identity. 

“For me I feel like Frank-N-Furter is big shoes to fill because he is such an iconic character,” Elden said. “Being brown and queer, all of my identities kind of intersect with this character. It’s really important for me to play it and to play its truth, as well as its camp. Performing it is really therapeutic for me.”

Carlos Bernal as Brad and Alana Marshall as Janet also delivered impressive performances throughout the evening. Both of their powerful vocals merged for beautiful melodies in songs like “Dammit Janet,” and “Over at the Frankenstein Place.” 

One particular scene that entranced the crowd was the performance of “Time Warp,” which brought the cast together for powerfully synchronized vocals and the familiar choreography for one of the most well-known songs from the iconic soundtrack. 

Aidan Baker, a first-year student, played Rocky in his first production here at SDSU, and he played the character in his true form. Baker’s looks embodied Rocky perfectly, and his energetic and humorous performance of the airhead heartthrob had the audience in fits of laughter.

The cast splits the stage to perform “Time Warp.” (Gwenyth Hoebing)

In true Rocky Horror Show tradition, audience participation was prevalent throughout the duration of the show. Goodie bags with rose petals and glow sticks were distributed to the crowd, maintaining the tradition while respecting the actors.

Audience callbacks were also prevalent during the show — the most common being “a-hole!” whenever Brad’s name is mentioned and “sl–!” whenever Janet’s name is mentioned. 

Post-show, a long resounding standing ovation from the crowd echoed the impact of the inspiring performance on the audience. An awe-struck liveliness lingered in the theater for many minutes following the performance. 

This production is a testament to the talent within SDSU’s theater program — a true fusion of creative mediums, from directing, to the crew’s choices, to the inspiring performances by every cast member.

The show is a captivating blend of sexuality, originality and acceptance, offering a message through its themes that are particularly resonant in today’s ever-evolving society. 

Anat Baird, co-director and music director, described the production’s approach to putting on a successful show, emphasizing the relevance of the show’s themes.

“When it came out it was ahead of its time,” Baird said. “It opened up a lot of people’s minds about sexuality and being gender fluid. It’s a little outdated now… I wanted the approach to be a very contemporary 2023 approach. I wanted to focus on empowerment and self-expression, regardless of who you are. This show is for everyone. It’s about everyone. I feel like everyone who comes to see the show can see themselves in this show one way or another.”

About the Contributor
Gwenyth Hoebing, Staff Writer
Gwenyth Hoebing is a sophomore studying Journalism Media Studies at San Diego State University. She writes for the arts and culture section of the Daily Aztec, specializing in music events happening in the San Diego area, along with student events held on campus. She is passionate about all things arts and culture, from music, to film and books. After college, she is hoping to pursue a career in media or news. She is excited to tackle the 2022-2023 school year with the Daily Aztec team!