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Let’s do the time warp again

It’s showtime: Stephanie Gibson plays Janet in The Rocky Horror Show, which will be on stage at the Bucks County Playhouse from Oct. 21–30.

Just in time for Halloween, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show returns to the Bucks County Playhouse for a limited run beginning Friday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 30, with special late-night showings.

This musical, with book, music and lyrics by O’Brien, inspired the 1975 classic cult film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It follows innocent couple Brad and Janet as they seek shelter at a mysterious old castle on a dark and stormy night. There, they encounter transvestite Dr. Frank N. Furter, his “perfect” creation Rocky and an assortment of other crazy creatures.

Texas native Stephanie Gibson, who has been seen on Broadway in such productions as The Addams Family and Spamalot, plays Janet. And although she’s appeared at the Playhouse before, this is her first time doing this show.

And what a show it is, she laughs.

“It’s insanity. It’s a blast. And there’s really no way to prepare for it. This show is true audience participation where people yell your lines — and other things — at you. I’ve never been in a show like this before, and believe me, it’s hard to prepare for.”

Gibson has seen the movie before, so appreciates some of the antics that are coming her way. But Hunter Foster, the director, has allowed cast members to make their characters a little more their own.

“I bring a little more quirkiness to Janet,” Gibson says. “She’s typically played a little more straight-laced among the crazies around her. But she’s got her own ding-dong qualities, a silliness that I really enjoy doing. So since she’s open for interpretation, I enjoy bringing myself to the role.”

Gibson believes this show still appeals to so many steadfast followers more than 40 years since it was first produced “because at the end of the day, everyone is different and everyone is celebrated. Everyone joins together to embrace their weirdness and their craziness, and we celebrate those qualities all through the show.”

This actress, singer and dancer says she’s been performing all her life, starting as a little girl who would tap dance in her front yard for the neighbors. Later, she attended the Broadway Theatre Project (now called the Performing Arts Camp) for three weeks during the summer in Tampa, Florida, where she was able to watch and learn from such luminaries as Gwen Verdon and Ben Vereen.

She next attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and then followed her dream to New York. She says she was lucky to have found work almost immediately. Over the years, she’s appeared in national tours, TV and film projects, even written her own shows, including her own web series titled Dates, Mates and Clean Slates.

And if she has a favorite show, it just may be Cabaret, in which she played Sally Bowles.

“It’s such a beautiful role for a woman, and it was the experience of a lifetime,” she admits.

After her role as Janet at Bucks County, she’ll be heading back to Texas to do Into The Woods.

“I love it all,” she said, “and the only thing I’m looking to do more of is comedy. But I know if I just keep working hard, eventually everything will come my way.” ••

The Bucks County Playhouse is at 70 S. Main St. in New Hope. Showtimes and ticket prices vary. For information or to buy tickets, call the box office at 215–862–2121 or visit bcptheater.org.

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