Joan Jett Still Contemplating This Summer's Rocky Road

News   Joan Jett Still Contemplating This Summer's Rocky Road
Despite reports that she’s already re-upped with the show, rocker Joan Jett is still considering whether to continue in her role in The Rocky Horror Show now playing at Circle in the Square.

Despite reports that she’s already re-upped with the show, rocker Joan Jett is still considering whether to continue in her role in The Rocky Horror Show now playing at Circle in the Square.

As of April 16, Jett’s manager, Kenny Laguna of Blackheart Records says that Jett will perform through Friday, April 20 according to her contract. But the former star of the rock act, The Runaways, has yet to come a decision with Laguna over whether to re-sign with Rocky Horror.

“There’s no acrimony,” Laguna told Playbill On-Line, “we just have to consider lots of things. Joan basically put her concert dates on hold for six months in order to do this show and we have to see what’s best for her at this stage.”

Laguna told Playbill On-Line that a decision has not been made about continuing in Rocky Horror and that Jett’s management is concerned about her fans buying tickets and expecting Jett to perform because incorrect reports have been issued saying that she’s definitely going to be in the show.

“I hate to see that happen,” Laguna said, “because then we get the calls from the fans and kids [who are disappointed.]” *

As reported earlier, Jett reportedly "could not come to terms" with producers over her involvement in the recent original cast recording of Jordan Roth's revival of The Rocky Horror Show. Her part was covered by her understudy, Kristen Lee Kelly, who received a gift from Jett prior to the recording with a note that wished her luck.

Raul Esparza (Riff Raff) recently announced that he would be leaving the Rocky cast to start in the Jonathan Larson autobiographical musical, Tick! Tick! Boom!

Jett's career dates back to the '70s when, as a teen artist in The Runaways, she was first attached to the noted Los Angeles record producer Kim Fowley. Jett has maintained a consistent record in the ever-changing music business and has been with her manager, Kenny Laguna (Blackheart Records) for two decades. Producer Jordan Roth's revival of Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show opened Nov. 15 at Circle in the Square. The show started previews Oct. 20. Roth's revival of the cult musical features an eclectic cast comprising 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"), Jett (in her Broadway debut), Jarrod Emick (Damn Yankees, Miss Saigon), Raul Esparza (Evita, Slaughterhouse 5), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent, Two Sisters and a Piano, Flawless ), Alice Ripley (Side Show, James Joyce's The Dead, King David, Les Miz, Sunset Boulevard) and Tom Hewitt (Disney's The Lion King, Art School for Scandal, The Sisters Rosensweig, Jeffrey).

The production team, under director Christopher Ashley comprises choreographer Jerry Mitchell (The Full Monty, Hedwig, Jeffrey, Jam on the Groove), scenic designer David Rockwell (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Theatre, Mohegan Sun Casino, Cirque Du Soliel Theatres), lighting designer Paul Gallo (Titanic, Smokey Joe's Cafe), costume designer David Woolard (Damn Yankees,The Who's Tommy, The Donkey Show, "A Few God Men"), sound designer Richard Fitzgerald, musical director Henry Aronson and orchestrations by Doug Katsaros (Footloose).

Producer Jordan Roth is the son of producer Daryl Roth (Wit, Three Tall Women and The Bomb-itty of Errors) and himself the producer of the Off-Broadway hit, The Donkey Show.

The original video design for Rocky Horror was done by Linda Batwin and Robin Silvestri, co-creative directors at Batwin + Robin Productions. Working with scenic designer David Rockwell and director Ashley, Batwin and Silvestri provided “original video acts as a dynamic set piece transforming the stage into a wedding chapel in the country, a rainy backwoods road and present day Times Square.”


Over the years, the stage and film versions of the show have engendered a strong fan base, which, despite its size, has been described as a cult following.

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.

Roth's current Off-Broadway show, The Donkey Show, was adapted from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. His mother's recent production, The Bomb-itty of Errors, was based on the Bard's Comedy of Errors.

Tickets are $30-$79.50. Circle in the Square is located at 1633 Broadway, on W. 50 St. For tickets call Tele-Charge at (212) 239-6200.

—By Murdoch McBride

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