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The cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show is packed with sexual awakenings, a transvestite and the ever-popular “Time Warp.” The Broadway musical Wicked has munchkins, flying monkeys and a witch who defies gravity. Monday night at the Ogden, the two shows come together to raise money for a good cause.
The touring cast of Wicked, which is currently performing at the Buell Theatre until May 20, will be hosting a benefit where the cast will perform Rocky Horror Picture Show.
All the proceeds from the show will go toward Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, a non-profit organization that raises money for people battling AIDS across the United States.
“It’s hard to find two shows that are more different, but they do have some common themes, which I also think are shared by the Broadway community as a whole and Broadway Cares,” said Timothy A. Fitz-Gerald, the director of the production. “The biggest theme of Wicked is it’s OK to be who you and to celebrate who you are and to accept others for who they are. As for Rocky Horror, if you look at the script, every character is looking for love and acceptance in their own way.”
Twice a year, the Broadway community and tours associated with the actors equity union join together to raise money for Broadway Cares, and since 1988, the organization has raised over $195 million for services helping those with AIDS. In the past seven years, this tour of Wicked has raised over $2 million.
Usually, the cast puts on a cabaret-style show where cast members perform individual songs. But this year, the cast is shaking it up and putting on a full show.
Since the cast Wicked is so large, and the cast of Rocky Horror is smaller, the audience can expect to see a double cast of show. Most characters will be played by one actor in act one and another in act two. Fitz-Gerald also said he wanted to give a chance for ensemble members to take on bigger roles in Rocky Horror.
“One of the things I really like about Rocky Horror is it’s such an ensemble show,” Fitz-Gerald said. “It really is a team show. Almost every character feels like a lead.”
Fitz-Geral, is a member of the ensemble of Wicked and an understudy for Fiyero and said he has been toying with the idea of directing. He also is familiar with Rocky Horror, having performed in the Los Angeles production.
Rocky Horror has cultivated an intense cult following — complete with midnight showings where people throw toast and talk back to the screen. But Fitz-Gerald is focusing on the soul of the story instead of its bizarreness.
“I think most people’s immediate image of the show is that it’s really campy and silly and that is all a part of what it is,” Fitz-Gerald said. “But what I like about the show, is that the show has a great heart at it’s core. There’s a story that can be told if you’re not afraid to do it. People sometimes get afraid of the heart of the show, and they just focus on the silliness.”
For fans of both shows, don’t worry, Fitz-Gerald will slip a little Wicked into the show.
“Yes, there will be a small homage to Wicked, but I’m not going to tell. You’ll have to look for it.”
For tickets go to http://www.ogdentheatre.net/eventdetail.php?id=35351. Tickets are $100 for V.I.P., $40 for general admission, and students get a day-of ticket price of $22, with a valid ID.
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Amanda Moutinho at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.