On both screen and stage, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the stuff of tradition for many a pop culture buff.
But Tony Banks, vocal director and thesp in Dunes Summer Theatre’s production of the beloved rock musical, has a unique tradition of his own, having lent his talents to all seven of the Michigan City theatre company’s production of the ‘Show.”
Over those years, Banks has enjoyed both seasoned “Show” vets and newcomers embrace the cult of “Rocky” from his vantage point on stage.
“What’s really fun to watch is the older generation that experienced it when it first came out and then see the younger generations adapt to it and come out for it,” he said. “To see the younger and the older generations still holding true to the value of the show, and still having fun with it like it just came out, it’s still really cool to watch that.”
Opening Oct. 5 and running through Oct. 13, “Rocky” has been a hit with audiences in and beyond the Halloween season throughout the globe for nearly four decades now.
The musical made its debut in 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre in London before making its way to the big screen two years later. Since then, songs such as “Time Warp,” “Sweet Transvestite” and “Hot Patootie” and characters such as Riff Raff, Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Magenta have been mainstays in the pop culture lexicon.
After a three-year absence, Dunes Summer Theatre has revived “Rocky” to wrap up their 2012 season.
“The music is simple, yet it’s really good,” Banks said. “It’s something that people can listen to, even if it wasn’t a Halloween show. It’s still something that you can put on any time and have fun with.”
Banks, who is assuming directorial duties with Joe Azaria and Sarah Rauch-Azaria played Riff Raff in Dunes Summer Theatre’s previous six “Rocky” runs. This year, he is assuming the role of Frank-N-Furter.
“I’m exited to be taking on a new role and very exited with the cast that we have this year,” he said. “It’s going to be a very strong run and we have some new elements that we’re bringing to the table. So it should prove to be a different show of sorts, but at the same time keep to the traditions that the ‘Rocky’ die-hards are used to.”
Pre-show “Rocky Fests” are being held prior to the nightly performances of Dunes Summer Theatre’s run of the musical. Starting approximately three hours prior to show time, audience members will have their chance to celebrate all things “Rocky” before the first curtain opens each evening.