DALLAS (KDAF) — The Dallas Theater Center is known as the largest professional theater in North Texas and has been recognized and awarded the 2017 Tony Award recipient for Best Regional Theater.
They’re continuing that tradition of excellence with their latest contemporary staging of The Rocky Horror Show based on the movie cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be at the Kalita Humphreys Theater to sit down with cast member Zachary J. Willis.
Straight out the box, I asked him what’s it like playing the character Columbia?
“It is a fun, exciting assignment to do, especially when I think that we are kind of subverting expectations, of what they think Rocky is. I think it’s bigger, bolder, a bit brighter, more animated and a little more ferocious.”
If you’re well familiar with the audience participation portion of the show at the movie theater, I was curious as to how this was going to play out live on stage. Willis said, “When we were in rehearsals, we were provided a script of potential callbacks that the audience might do, but a show as old and respected as Rocky some people will pull things out of nowhere. There are times we’re on stage and I’m looking up and I’m like what? What did you say?”
Willis went on to say that he enjoys that type of freedom onstage, and he thinks theater engages people in a different way.
Well, Willis was right. I was able to do the time warp again and attend the final performance. Fans knew every bit of the dialogue from the show and never missed a cue. Needless to say, I got hit in the noggin’ with a roll of cascading toilet paper from the back of the house, that some audience member had from their purchased gift bag. Now, you know I checked to see if it was two ply, and it wasn’t.
Lee Walter is a phenomenal performer here in DFW and has been mesmerizing audiences as the lead role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. When Walter hits the stage, each vocal and choreographed move is executed with such precision, and it has my undivided attention.
Walter describes Frank-N-Furter as a dream role, “It’s definitely a challenge, the costumes are all leather, so they really they don’t breathe that much, it’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t change it for the world, because this role and this cast is just a blessing.”
After all of these years, this show still has a strong and faithful following. Make sure to check out the Dallas Theater Center’s season line up.