In 2008 Love and Light Productions brought its version of “The Rocky Horror Show” to life. Since then it has become a State College tradition. Now in its sixth year doing the show, the production company is as excited as ever to bring its ever-changing interpretation of the fan-favorite show back to the Arena Bar & Grill stage.
Love and Light artistic director and co-founder Alicia Marie Starr described the show’s premise. “Two straight-laced high-school sweethearts become engaged and decide to share the news with their favorite science professor, but their car breaks down on the way in front of a castle of transsexuals who are in the process of creating the perfect male specimen.”
Actress Katie Carriero said she is excited to be a part of the show.
“It’s been a dream of mine since high school to play Janet” (one half of the fictional betrothed couple), she said. “This is my third show with Love and Light. ... I love this company; they are so unique and different and incredibly talented. They are always trying new and exciting things.”
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“We have the opportunity to really push the limits of musical theater,” said Love and Light music director and local music producer Gregory B. “Mudzo” Mudzinski. “By many company standards, ‘Rocky Horror’ is an unsafe show. We do daring and dangerous shows, and that’s how we like it.”
One unique aspect of the troupe’s shows is the use of a live band, which brings a rock ‘n’ roll attitude to the organization’s productions, and the musicians interact with the actors and audience throughout the show. This year’s band is led by Mudzinski.
“Every production of ‘Rocky’ is unique,” Mudzinski said. “The more we do it or you see it, there is always something new to notice. All the characters in our productions are so well developed that, if you were to pick one out at any given moment, they would seem lost in their own world.”
Starr added: “There is no ‘fourth wall’ with us; ‘Rocky Horror’ is a very audience participatory show.”
The show this year is choreographed by Lacee McCann and Jackie Gianico, along with Starr.
“We have never had a show with so much choreography,” Starr said. “It’s filled with energy, and the actors literally never stop moving.”