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New Rocky Horror Promo Features Ben Vereen in Fishnets

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The more footage and promotional material released, the more I get excited about FOX’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” reboot premiering October 20th.

The two-hour special stars Laverne Cox in the iconic role of transvestite mad scientist and sexual psychopath Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Broadway veteran Ben Vereen also stars as Dr. Everett Scott, Frank’s paraplegic arch-rival. Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical,” “Hocus Pocus”) directs.

With a rock score by Richard O’Brien, the story centers on newly-engaged sweethearts Brad Majors, played by Ryan McCartan, and Janet Weiss, played by Victoria Justice. After getting stuck with a flat tire on a stormy night, they stumble upon the castle of Frank-N-Furter.

Throughout the evening, the lovers encounter a variety of eccentric characters, lose their sexual innocence, and meet Frank’s new Adonis creation — Rocky Horror, portrayed by Staz Nair — built to serve as his sexual companion.

FOX released a brand new promo trailer with far more footage:


We get to hear Ivy Levan as the Usherette croon the opening number, “Science Fiction, Double Feature.” And the new film seems to honor the spirit of the original by having “Damn It, Janet,” Brad’s proposal, take place at a funeral.

We see a lot more of the “Time Warp,” featuring Reeve Carney as Riff-Raff, Christina Milian as Magenta, and Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford, decked out in leather studs and a frilly pink/blue/purple tutu, as Columbia.

Cox appears to channel Beyoncé and Tina Turner in the “Floor Show,” wearing a golden get-up with flowing, blonde hair. Speaking of, this preview of “Sweet Transvestite,” where Cox slinks about like some Grace Jones/David Bowie hybrid, has put to rest any doubts I had about her voice — I mean, that bass baritone! And I’m loving the trio of backup singers.

The trailer also features a lot more of Adam Lambert as Eddie singing “Hot Patootie.” I’m sure most who know Lambert and his range can expect him to sing the hell out of that number.

But can we also talk about Ben Vereen in fishnets? Ben Vereen in fishnets, for the love of God! It’s a quick shot, and I’ve damaged the pause button enough, but Ben Vereen in fishnets!

 

Ben Vereen

 

The cast, along with executive producer Lou Adler, visited TCA, where they discussed the upcoming TV film, the fan reactions and backlash, and Tim Curry.

The original Rocky Horror legend, who returns to the musical as the Criminologist, gave his blessing to this revival, having gone as far as offering himself to play Dr. Scott: “Because I was already in a wheelchair, but they thought Narrator was a better fit and I enjoyed it a lot.”

In his first major role, Curry starred in the original The Rocky Horror Show stage musical and the subsequent 1975 film adaptation as Frank.

This throwback to early sci-fi films has gone on to spark multiple international stage adaptations, parodies, and is still screened in theaters today as part of a “midnight showing.”

Fans dress up as the characters, sing, and dance, and call back to the screen, while “shadowcasts” act out the movie in front. Those new to the Rocky Horror experience — “virgins” — go through an initiation (almost like Brad and Janet in the film). As an homage to the fans, the new reboot will feature an interactive audience doing “callbacks.”

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” airs on FOX, October 20th, 8PM.

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Celebrity Takeover

Tituss Burgess Has New Music, A New Movie, & No Time For Mess + The Preacher’s Wife Musical Update

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Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover
Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover

On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Tituss Burgess gave us an update on his musical adaptation of the 1996 movie, The Preacher’s Wife – starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. On the late-night talk show, a viewer called in to ask if there had been any updates regarding the show and Burgess shared that:

“ We are very close to signing with a hot-shot producer in New York, which means that the show is closer to appearing in London or here. But there’s also a recent development which could delay it for the better. You’ll find out about it later”

So not only do we know that the musical is still on its way to bless us, but there is an announcement about the show on the way! If you ask me, this is incredibly exciting. Tituss Burgess’ career has gone from stage to screen, and his abilities as an actor and singer are undeniable. Knowing that we are closer to seeing his skills as a musical theatre composer is mad exciting. Watch a clip from the interview above.

While we wait for The Preacher’s Wife Musical, listen to Burgess’ newly released EP Saint Tituss. Burgess sings his face off as he skillfully talks about issues that are personal and political — all while wrapping things up with a joyous celebration of resilience as positivity. He also has two songs that feature Daniel J. Watts including the single 45

St. Tituss is available on Spotify, apple music, and other streaming platforms.

He also has a new movie on the way. “Dolemite Is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy along with Burgess, Mike Epps, Chris Rock, & more will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. A national release date has not been set as of yet but is sure to be on its way.

 

While discussing the new movie during the same interview, Cohen asked Burgess about his relationship with Murphy. The way Cohen presented the question insinuates there might have been a problem between the two because of a ‘problematic past with the gays’ on Murphy’s part. The response given by Burgess is swift and loaded with “you tried it, but you won’t get me”:

“He wasn’t problematic for Tituss. We had a wonderful time. We talked about Dreamgirls and he should have won the Oscasr, I believe. He was great. Any troubles he may have had with gay people I guess are gone because he loved me.”

It is the following facial expression and the interaction that comes afterward that makes live television great. You can see Burgess say something to someone off-camera which leads Cohen to ask what he’s saying. Burgess replies with a soon-to-be iconic response to everything: “Keep going, girl. Do your show.”

and this is why we live.

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Coming Soon

The Public Theater Will Present Hercules Musical & Hercules Is Black!

Drew Shade

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The Muses via Hercules film

We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when. Back in 2017, we reported that a musical adaptation of the Disney movie Hercules would be headed to Broadway. Now we can confirm that is somewhat true.

Hercules will be the latest Disney musical to be made for the stage and will play Off-Broadway at the Public Theater’s Delacorte Theater in Central Park. As the final show of the Shakespeare in the Park season theater season performances will run August 31 through September 8 with a reading set to take place in April.

The role of Hercules will be played by a Black actor, according to the casting notice

The musical will include the Oscar-nominated “Go the Distance, along with other songs from the 1997 animated film by Alan Menken & David Zippel. Presented through an arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, the show will be directed by Lear deBessonet.  The creative team also includes a book by Kristoffer Diaz, & choreography by Chase Brock.

Before Hercules, Kenny Leon will direct the Much Ado About Nothing May 21 through June 23 to begin the Shakespeare in the Park season.

Casting for all both productions will be announced at a later date

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