By Christine Ehren
11 Dec 2001
While her talk show turns 4,295 Dec. 11, Sally Jessy Raphael, the hostess in the bright red specs, makes her Broadway debut as the Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show. She continues in the role through Dec. 16.
A highly successful daytime talk show host (current topics: "Shocking Events...Caught On Tape!" and "Tight Shot: Teen Prostitutes!"), Raphael has worked in the entertainment industry in multiple careers. Once the head of her own cooking show in South America, she has been a puppeteer, disk jockey in New York, Miami and Pittsburgh, a street reporter in San Juan and Connecticut and a nightly news anchor for WPIX-TV.
Raphael joins a cast headed by Broadway star Terrence Mann as Dr. Frank'n'furter. Upcoming Narrators filling the role Dick Cavett created in the revival (that Cavett'll play the first and last two weeks of the musical's run, set to end Jan. 6, 2002) include Pen and Teller (Dec. 18-23). Sebastian Bach (Jekyll & Hyde) plays Riff Raff with Liz Larsen (The Most Happy Fella, Damn Yankees) as Columbia, Kristen Lee Kelly (Rent, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) as Janet, Jonathan Sharp (The Red Shoes, Caroulsel) as Rocky and for the first time with this revival, a male Eddie/Dr. Scott, played by Jason Wooten (Jesus Christ Superstar, Footloose). Returning to the cast are Daphne-Rubin Vega as Magenta and Jarrod Emick as Brad.
Tickets to The Rocky Horror Show are $85 and $49.50. For tickets call Tele-Charge at (212) 239-6200. Telecharge is currently selling tickets through Jan. 3, 2002 only.
After doing only 42.8 percent business and bringing in $63,262 the week of the attack, The Rocky Horror Show closed Sept. 23. Roth's revival of Richard O'Brien's cult musical comedy opened Nov. 15 at Circle in the Square, after beginning previews Oct. 20, 2000. At that point it had run 30 previews and 356 performances, hundreds more than the original's Broadway run. Roth, for whom Rocky was his first producing venture, was pleased with the show, despite its premature close. "We had a great year on Broadway. We did what we set out to do. We brought a new audience to Broadway and created a new kind of Broadway experience," he said.
Several shows, including The Syringa Tree and Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding took month-long hiatus to wait for the return of tourists to New York City.
Mann was Tony-nominated for playing Javert in Les Miserables and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Other Broadway credits include Rum Tum Tugger in the original company of Cats, the ringmaster in Barnum, Greg Reed in Getting Away With Murder, Saul in Rags and the narrator in Jerome Robbins' Broadway.
Mann was the last addition to Rocky Horror, home of bizzare casting. Recent company members included "Beverly Hills, 90210"'s Luke Perry, replacing a vactationing Jarrod Emick, political comedian Kate Clinton replacing a vacationing Dick Cavett and "Saturday Night Live"'s Ana Gasteyer permenantly replacing rocker Joan Jett.
The cult musical also featured Dick Cavett (Into the Woods, Otherwise Engaged, television's "The Dick Cavett Show"), Lea DeLaria (On the Town, Chicago, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, "The First Wives Club"), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent, Two Sisters and a Piano, Flawless ) and Alice Ripley (Side Show, James Joyce's The Dead, King David, Les Miz, Sunset Boulevard).
Director Christopher Ashley helms the show. Producer Jordan Roth is the son of producer Daryl Roth (Wit, Three Tall Women and The Bombitty of Errors) and himself the producer of the Off-Broadway hit, The Donkey Show.
The stage version of the show ran on Broadway for about one month in 1975. The film version, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," was also released in 1975 and was directed by Jim Sharman. The film featured many members of the Broadway cast and starred Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Jonathan Adams, Meatloaf, Little Nell (Campbell), Charles Gray and Patricia Quinn.