Broadway North brings sci-fi and horror tribute musical to the stage with Rocky Horror Show

Cast members from the Broadway North production of Rocky Horror Show rehearse a musical number at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. The show opens on Aug. 17. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Prince Albert’s Broadway North Theatre Company brings a cult classic film to the E.A. Rawlinson Stage with their upcoming summer musical.

Starting Aug. 17, Broadway North cast members will perform Rocky Horror Show, a 1973 musical stage production that led to the 1975 film, Rocky Horror Picture Show. The production is a tribute to science fiction and horror “B Movies” made from the 1930s to the 1960s, and cast members say audiences might need two showings to take everything in.

“Something we’ve all been saying is you’re all going to want and come and see it twice,” said lead actress Maggie Pytlak-Strauss. “There’s so many technical, intricate things that happen, (and) little moments that you might not catch the first time. Come and see it for sure, but come and see it twice.”

Rocky Horror Show focuses on a young newly engaged couple, Janet (played by Pytlak-Strauss), and Brad (played by Bryan Roces). The young couple are heading to meet with an old teacher who first introduced them, but gets a flat tire during the trip. With rain beating down, they head for an old house where they discover Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist who is actually from the galaxy of Transylvania, and a living muscle man he created named Rocky.

Both Pytlak-Strauss and Roces said it’s been great to get inside the mind of stock characters placed in unusual situations.

“At the start of the show, she (Janet) kind of represents a caricature of what it would be to be a woman at the time, and then slowly begins to discover who she is and her independence and her sexuality,” Pytlak-Strauss said. “I found that having that kind of arc would be really interesting to play with.”

“I really enjoy just playing different characters and playing around, exploring what it’s like to be this character,” Roces added. “For Brad, back in the ‘50s, it’s always how men are being masculine and very sure of themselves and making sure everything’s perfect, so it’s a different direction for me as an individual, I have a different personality exploring another person’s personality, so it’s a lot of fun just experiencing new things in a character.”

This isn’t the first time either actor has been involved in a Broadway North production. Both were cast in Rock of Ages last summer. As a hometown performer, Pytlak-Strauss said it’s been great to rise through the ranks from a young child performer to a seasoned veteran, while Roces only moved to Prince Albert from Calgary a couple of years ago, said it’s been great to discover a passionate theatre community.

Both actors credit their cast members for bringing the musical feelings to the stage. While both actors need to sing and dance, they said it’s the many phantoms and Translyvanians who have the hardest choreography to master.

“We’re pretty lucky,” Pytlak-Strauss said. “(It’s) our chorus members and our ensemble members who have to do a lot of the heavy lifting, but there is definitely a number near the end of the show where we all get involved and that’s a lot of fun for sure.”

It’s lots of amazing people who are good at what they do,” Roces adds “It’s something that as a community should be shared. It’s very rewarding.”

The original Rocky Horror show was written by Richard O’Brien and premiered in London in June 1973. The show ran for nearly 3,000 performances, and received the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical.

The 1975 film adaption is remembered for the tradition of enthusiastic audience participation, with many attending dressed as characters from the show.

“I think it’s a story about people accepting and coming to allow individuals to just be themselves in whatever way that means,” Pytlak-Strauss said. “I think that’s more prevalent a message than ever that we should all be accepting of one another and not be closed minded as Brad and Janet might be at the start of the show.”

Rocky Horror Show opens on Aug. 17 at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. It runs from Aug. 17-20, and Aug. 23-26. For showtimes and ticket information, visit or call the E.A. Rawlinson Box Office.

Editor’s note: this story has been updated to include the correct spelling of Maggie Pytlak-Strauss’ name. The Daily Herald apologizes for the error.