The Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera brought the Rocky Horror Show to the Thirsty Hippo stage for three days beginning on Thursday, Sept. 20, making it Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera’s first show of the 2018-2019 season.
Written by Richard O’Brien, The Rocky Horror Show premiered in 1973 and was adapted into a movie in 1975 as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which has since become a cult classic. The show is well-known for its use of audience participation through audience lines and props.
Southern Miss classics professor Miles Doleac directs the show and has directed five shows for HCLO as well as four movies in the Hattiesburg area. Doleac said he wanted to direct Rocky Horror because he thinks very few people have seen the live stage show and wants more people to have that opportunity.
“A lot of people know the movie, but very few people have actually seen it live, and I just thought it would be an experience unlike anything our town had seen,” Doleac said.
Wanting to bring a rare experience to the people of Hattiesburg, Doleac said the reaction on opening night was “wild.”
“I think it is a truly unique theatrical experience. If you’re in Hattiesburg, you just don’t have many opportunities to experience something like this,” Doleac said. “It is just so much fun and so wild, and it’s so out there. It is a truly wonderful, unique, interesting, fascinating experience that you’re just not going to get in Hattiesburg very often.”
Hollie Priest, a junior English major, was one of the many people who enjoyed the show.
“I thought it was great. I’ve seen Rocky Horror in different theaters at least four times, and this is hands down the best production I’ve ever seen of it,” Priest said.
Senior vocal performance major Wesley Hodges plays the character “Rocky.” Hodges said this show was unique to other shows he has acted in.
“It’s honestly one of the most fun rehearsal processes I’ve been in,” Hodges said. “In this show you get to just do whatever you want and just be free and let loose, and I think that’s a really fun experience that hopefully I will get to have again in another show if not this show again.”
HCLO will be having three more performances of the Rocky Horror Show on Sept. 27, 28 and 29 at the Thirsty Hippo from 7:30 to 10 p.m. For more information about the show and tickets, visit www.hclo.org.