I'm a recent transform to the phenomenon that is the “Rocky Horror snapshot Show,” yet I definitely anticipated seeing the live version of the cult-classic this past weekend in ~ the Nordlof center in downtown Rockford.

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A brand-new theater group called Usual suspects is performing the hit production throughout October, and this year corresponds with the 40th anniversary relax of the campy film starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf. The movie is based upon the 1973 musical stage production about an engaged pair who happens upon an alien transvestite’s castle one rainy night.

The team behind "Rocky Horror picture Show" is usual Suspects, a repertoire of performers, designers and also artists who are acquainted to the regional theater scene. (Photo listed by Jason Edlen)


But first, a little background. The film was released in 1975 to small fanfare yet grew in popularity once a theatre in new York City started hosting midnight showings where people dressed up and talked ago to the screen. To say the film has actually a cult adhering to is one understatement. There’s a nationwide fan club and also conventions in its honor, and showings of the film and live phase productions ramp up the closer we acquire to Halloween.

I witnessed the movie because that the first time simply a few years earlier at Rockford College and also then play catch-up to learn around the music and the characters when ns dressed up for a “Rocky”-themed roller derby bout in 2012.

Audience members receive a "Rocky" program when they arrive at the show.


So i was excited when a team of friends wanted to gain tickets because that the neighborhood production. Us gathered prior to the midnight present to end up our makeup and last-minute costume changes. We landed on the Nordlof Center, 118 N. Key St., a tiny early and also decided to popular music over to Octane Interlounge for a pre-show drink. Octane has actually awesome “Rocky”-themed cocktails and also food that celebrate the show. I chatted with Octane owner Dan Minick in ~ the bar simply long sufficient to listen his confident review of the show. I think our team pulled turn off our costumes quite well due to the fact that some passersby came right into the restaurant to have photos taken through us.

Cast members rehearse because that the display at the Nordlof Center. (Photo indigenous RockyRockford facebook page)


Back over at the Nordlof Center, the doubt did not disappoint. Lock performed the complete live version of the stage production with all of fabulously catchy tunes (hello “Time Warp”) and also lots of distinctive touches because that costumes and collection design. Kudos to cast member and art director Jason Edlen (who plays Eddie) for the cool way he integrated slide projection into the show. Ns won’t provide away too numerous details.

To find out a little bit much more about the project, ns chatted with Christine Edlen-Korneski, a establishing Usual suspects member that plays Columbia in the present (and sister come Jason). She said the team is a mish-mash of local performers who’ve all operated together in some capacity – ~ above stage, backstage, prior of the residence – through the years as part of the regional theater scene.

Edlen-Korneski said the show’s response in the first couple of weeks has actually been fantastic, regardless of the manufacturing being a risqué debut.

“We have actually a fantastic, exorbitant theater neighborhood in Rockford,” she said. “There are good groups that are established, and also they have actually their niches. We’re just a tiny bit exterior of the box, and also choosing ‘Rocky’ was a good way to open up with a bang. Us all feel adventurous, and also as a group, that’s what we want to represent.

“The spirit of adventure in the arts and also theater is becoming so alive and well in downtown. Every little thing is blossoming and growing, and also we want to be part of it.”

Prop bags because that audience participation. (Photo from RockyRockford facebook page)


As an audience member, you have the right to tell the “Rocky” is fairly the undertaking because that the Suspects. Edlen-Korneski stated the group has been planning the show due to the fact that January and also has remained in rehearsals because August. All of the performers have actually jobs and also families exterior of the show, therefore “Rocky” is their part-time gig.

“It’s to be such a concerted collaboration,” she said. “We have actually so many amazingly talented people as part of ours group. … ns cannot imagine doing this present without the world who are in it appropriate now. We’ve grown right into such a wonderfully supportive and loving group. It’s kind of magical.”

“Rocky” has actually just a few shows continuing to be in October. There space still tickets obtainable for the midnight show today (Friday, Oct. 23), as well as the midnight shows on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Uncover “RockyRockford” on on facebook for more information, or visit rockyrockford.com to buy tickets. Tickets space $10 plus processing fees, yet if girlfriend buy ticket in advance, you acquire $2 discounts ~ above prop bags marketed in the theater lobby the night that the show. Kryptonite Bar is doing the bartending in the lobby, as well.

Expect come hear much more from usual Suspects as soon as they’ve recovered native the hectic “Rocky Horror” schedule. Edlen-Korneski stated the group is in speak to carry out the production again next October, as well as other shows.

Prop bags are an additional cost however totally worth it. Pictured right here are a couple of items the made it home from the theater.


We had several “Rocky” virgins (as they’re called) in our group, so ns was excited to hear your feedback about the show. Few of them hadn’t even seen the movie. Right here are a couple of of their comments:

“It was a good time city hall the display with funny people. Ns would absolutely go again and recommend civilization go watch it.”

“The show was great. Very talented people. Audience participation is constantly fun. As an child to the show, ns was a tiny lost with what come do and also when, however I was happy to have actually a buddy in ~ my next to guide me.”

“Rocky” is terrific and weird, the music is good and the crowd interaction alone is worth attending. As one more friend mentioned in a testimonial of the show on Facebook, you deserve to see amazing, neighborhood talent for much less than the price of a movie (although the $5 prop bag is completely worth it). So litter on a costume, put your hand on her hips and support usual Suspects.

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Written by Melissa Westphal

Melissa is a writer because that a neighborhood Rockford nonprofit. She loves regional shops, restaurants, music and also roller derby, and also celebrates 13 year in 2015 of calling Rockford home.