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In the somewhat established Fox decision to remake live action versions of classic films, Rocky Horror Picture Show has been long-awaited by audiences everywhere.
The seminal 1975 film was originally adapted from the stage musical, so Rocky Horror is just returning to its live action roots. The film was hailed as a cult classic, but producers were still wary to approve of the 21st century reboot. Variety reveals that Lou Adler, who produces the new Rocky Horror as well as owns The Roxy, says that he was nervous to compare Fox’s version of the film to the 1975 version, but Laverne Cox (who plays the iconic Dr. Frank-N-Furter) is the most important aspect of our hopefully new classic.
“She’s a force. It’s surprising that she hasn’t been asked to do a musical before, because she can really do it all. She really sets the bar high,” he notes.
And Cox has certainly put herself through the professional ringer for Fox’s latest musical. After studying classical singing for several years, Cox worked with Liz Caplan to perfect her own touch on Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s voice:
“I started [training] months before we began production. I started taking voice lessons again in 2015 with Liz Caplan, who works with everybody on Broadway. Once I was cast, I started taking voice lessons three times a week, and dance classes four times a week.”
While Dr. Frank-N-Furter doesn’t traditionally incorporate classical notes into songs, Cox’s musical background shaped a new interpretation of the character.
“When Lou and [director] Kenny Ortega heard me sing [classically], they said we should incorporate some of that into my role. We found places to do it in different songs, but not overdo it,” Cox assures.
The classical stylings might be a welcome change to the character, giving Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show just a touch of individuality while still respecting the cult classic roots. Cox’s Frank-N-Furter predecessor, Tim Curry, has also signed off on his approval for Cox’s casting, and he is even appearing as the narrator.
Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show will premiere on October 20th at 8pm.