Though she wanted the part and loves the producers, Sandra Bernhard says she had to turn down an offer to play "Magenta" in the upcoming Rocky Horror show because the money wasn't right.
"They offered me the part," Bernhard told Playbill On-Line, "but it only paid $2,000 a week and I just don't work for that kind of money any more. I can't afford to."
Bernhard's appreciation for the Rocky Horror material has long been established; back in 1996, she was said to be interested in reviving the 1975 musical herself and playing another role, Frank 'n' Furter.
"I want to be honest about this," Bernhard said, "because I really wanted to do the part and I'd like to work with the producers sometime. But it's just not financially feasible. I wanted to do it, but it was just too gnarly --I've worked too many years and I have a kid now."
Bernhard said the length of the run was a consideration. "I could do something like that but only for a limited run and maybe if it was something that I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to do." *
As reported earlier, producer Jordan Roth, who is bringing the original stage version of The Rocky Horror Show to a Tony eligible theatre in time for a Halloween opening this season told Playbill On-Line, "It's a going to be a very non-traditional Broadway show." Rocky Horror is currently scheduled to start previews Oct. 3, in preparation for a Halloween opening. "Rocky Horror will come straight to a Broadway house," Roth explained earlier this week. No out of-town tryout is planned.
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, Roth told Playbill On-Line that he is also well into negotiations for his entire creative team, which may be announced shortly. Theatre negotiations are also well underway and casting is being done by Bernard Telsey.
Though Roth's current Off-Broadway show, The Donkey Show was adapted from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and his mother's recent hit, The Bomb-itty of Errors was based on the Bard's Comedy of Errors, there is no adaptation planned for The Rocky Horror Show.
"This is not going to be an adaptation," Roth insists. "The movie was actually based on the original stage show, which it followed quite faithfully. This is the stage show and it's not adapted, reworked or 'reconcepted.' But, it is certainly going to be a 'Rocky Horror' experience unlike any other."
Roth said he is impressed by the "serious interest he has already seen over the production. "It's truly remarkable to see the amount of talent from the theatre world and from other worlds," Roth said. "Everybody really has a wonderful connection to this material and a memory of the first time they saw it."
Roth said the show will be "absolutely as interactive" as audiences would expect The Rocky Horror Show to be. 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. "People can expect the show to be done in the same way that audiences have always responded to Rocky Horror," Roth said, "meaning the way that the music and characters inspire people to sing and dance and interact with each other. That's the experience of the Rocky Horror show live."
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.