Arts Interview – Rocky Horror Show Q&A with Ryan Mooney, Fighting Chance Productions AD

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The Arts Report recently saw the opening night of the Rocky Horror Picture show from Fighting Chance Productions  at the Jericho Arts Centre (listen to the review!). It runs through Oct 26th for all your pre Halowe’en needs. It is a delightful time that both honours and differs from the original film and stage show. And if you haven’t seen RHPS then watch it first, it will be much more fun.

 

Maegan, Arts Director, talked to Ryan Mooney, Fighting Chance Prod Artistic Director, about the show. Oh, and when everyone dances the time warp at the end, get on that damn stage and do it. If my mom can do it so can you

The Arts Report: What’s the heart of Fighting Chance Productions?

Ryan Mooney: The heart of FCP is the desire to give artists a stepping stone opportunity to perform in shows that they enjoy. When we first started there were fewer groups doing musical theatre than there are now – and the big groups would not touch rock shows generally. We try to give graduates of the performing arts colleges and universities in Vancouver the opportunity to rock out in shows that they might not normally have the chance to perform in.

AR: Why Rocky Horror Picture show? What do you find thrilling about the show, especially specifically for Fighting Chance Productions?

RM: Well, it’s the Rocky Horror Show [Ed note: I stand corrected!] The picture is only in the movie (though most people call it Rocky Horror Picture Show too)  – people have been asking me since we began the company in 2007 when we were going to do this show, and now seemed the right time. We’ve grown to a certain point where I felt we could take on this iconic piece of theatre.

I guess both [Fighting Chance and Rocky Horror] have the same mindset: don’t dream it, be it. I love that mentality – don’t think about it, do it. That’s how we usually approach all of our shows.

[When we were casting] we were looking for sexy, talented performers. I think we lucked out with the group we have. The Phantoms (chorus) were cast and then we worked hard to bring out their own unique talents – be it lifts, flexibility, improvisation, etc.

AR: The Rocky Horror Show has been successful on Broadway lately, can you tell us what elements inspired you in your production?

RM: Having a female Eddie/Dr. Scott definitely came out of that. I like the idea of hearing a woman wail on Eddie’s songs. I also took the idea of sexing it up. The movie is amazing, but it’s kind of 70’s sexy – we wanted a timeless era, and we were really keen on making the castle a place of modern sex.

The script for the play is different from the movie [and unlike the film] we didn’t cut anything, including the song Brad sings in Act 2 “Once in a While” which wasn’t in the movie. Will Hopkins [Brad] has such a stellar voice we didn’t want to get rid of it, even if most people didn’t know it. I tried hard to keep iconic moments from the movie [everyone dancing with boas during Rose Tint my World for example) but also attempted to pepper the show with my own humour.
AR: What’s coming up for Fighting Chance Productions? 

Next up is the Neil Labute play Reasons to be Pretty which starts in January. The play starts in the middle of a fight between a girl and her boyfriend, who has just said she has a “plain” face. It’s funny, heavy shit. Then we close our season with the Tony Award
winning Spring Awakening – fantastic rock musical full of sexy performers.