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Rich Weirdos

First Preview:  Mar 07, 1975  Total Previews:  4

Opening Date:   Mar 10, 1975 "The Belasco"

Closing Date:  Apr 06, 1975  Total Performances: 45

Production Details

Book, Music & Lyrics by Richard O'Brien
Original Music and Arrangements by Richard Hartley

Directed by Jim Sharman
Production Design - Brian Thomson
Costumes - Sue Blane
Lighting by - Chipmonck


Principal Cast
Dr. Frank-N-Furter : Tim Curry
Janet Weiss : Abigail Haness
Brad Majors : Bill Miller (now known as Michael Fontaine)
Riff-Raff : Richard O'Brien
Usherette/Magenta : Jamie Donnelly
Columbia : Boni Enten
Eddie/Dr. Scott : Meatloaf
Rocky Horror : Kim Milford
The Narrator : William Newman

The Band
D'Vaughn Pershing : keyboards
Tony Berg : guitar
Ray Neopolitan : bass
Joseph Roccisano : saxophone
Michael Buono : drums
David Foster : Organ

broadway

bad review

Rex Reed

Thank you to Frank Albrecht for the review scans!

Programme Cover

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The show, with minor cast changes, was a major flop on Broadway, with American producers, audiences and critics completely missing the point.

The choice of venue played a large part in the show's failure. What should have been an Off-Broadway smash set in one of the many derelict cinemas around Broadway, was a major flop housed in The Belasco Theatre on Broadway. The large grand theatre, owned by The Shuberts, had only housed 2 productions, for a total of 17 performances, since Oh! Calcutta! closed in August 1972. The producers of Rocky Horror in the U.S. saw prestige over common sense and took the offered Belasco. In a move that only be described as crazy, the seating was removed, including the boxes. Tables and chairs replaced them, creating a replica of The Roxy, and removing any ambience the room originally had. It had been decided that alcohol had played some part in The Roxy "success" and so there was bar service. The seating was returned when the show closed, but the boxes never were (a permanent scar) 45 performances and rabid reviews, it was quickly forgotten.

Brian Thomson said ( in an interview with PATRICIA MORRISROE) "The only time the set design failed was in New York. We simply lost control of the show. I wanted to stage it in some old cinema down in Greenwich Village, but Lou Adler, who produced the show in the U.S., wanted to duplicate a cabaret atmosphere. It worked with Rocky in L.A. at the Roxy, but New York is not L.A. Adler pulled out the whole orchestra section of the Belasco Theatre and put in tables and chairs. Waitresses served drinks and hamburgers. It was publicized as "The Beautiful Belasco, New York's first cabaret theater." Well, as it turned out, New York didn't need a cabaret theater and Rocky was a disaster. What Adler didn't understand was that the cabaret angle didn't matter. It wasn't the important thing about the play. Rocky is basically a little show. If you try and approach it as "The Rocky Horror Show — Direct from the West Coast" — you ruin everything."

In another interview he described the Broadway show as "absolutely hated. I think to me, that was the end of Rocky Horror. It's a really strange feeling when you're doing something and suddenly it was a second-rate piece of junk. The reviews couldn't have been worse." "All of this fantasy just stopped. I think it affected all of us." "I feel like I still own a piece of that show though I don't get anything [royalties] any more." He shrugs. "Richard formed a company back in the 80s or 90s and completely just cut us out. Look, I say this without any hesitation that Jim Sharman, with help from me, created The Rocky Horror Show to the point that Jim gave it the title."

The show didn't return to Broadway till November 15, 2000. Again it played in a legitimate 688 seat theatre, The Circle On The Square, with completely new direction, designs, costumes and orchestrations. It ran for 437 performances with an 83% attendence and made a loss, was nominated for 4 Tonys but won none.

For an Australian, this is hard to conceive, when every revival production here has been profitable. By 1988, Rocky Horror had only been beaten by Cats, for ticket sales in Australia.

review time

 
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Tim Curry Lobby Photo

belasco 1st

Thank you to Frank Albrecht for the "Scrapbook" scans!

review 2

belascorich

birth

Belasco fridge

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Broadway Opening Night Mask/Cast List

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bel 9 ls
bel7

rocky bel

Belasco rockytickets

Belasco group ls belasco pose

finale

One of the shoes worn by Tim Curry at The Belasco from the Ruth Fink-Winter Collection

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©2017 Mark Jabara Ellison Productions