San Francisco Bay Area, CA
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Barely Legal originated at the UC Theatre in October, 1995 as Indecent Exposure hung up their fishnets and headed out of the Rocky world into retirement. Put together by a few IE alumni: Gene and Kelly Engles, Monique Martin, and Julie Sarginson, the cast had a huge reputation to follow, and has strived to bring the best Rocky Horror performances to the stage week after week since that first performance on October 31, 1995. The directing staff is now made up of Brady Ferguson, Nate Havoc, and Bridgid McGuiness.
Many faces came and went over the past 3 1/2 years, along with many memorable events and shows. Road shows at the Maggie Crum Theatre in Walnut Creek, Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma, Fairfax Theatre in Fairfax, Cameo Theatre in Saint Helena, and Annie's Bar in San Francisco were highlights in Barely Legal's history, reaching out to the rest of the SF Bay Area. We were also featured in Berkeley's "It's my Berkeley" parade, and appeared with the rest of BARF at San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade and at Napa's Active 20/30 Charity Club's Rocky Horror Halloween event.
One of the most tragic things to happen to Barely Legal came in December, 1998. The manager of the UC Theatre met with the directors, and told us that Landmark had decided to end the world record run (22 years) of Rocky Horror, effective January 2, 1999. Work immediately started in lobbying Landmark to change their decision, a search for a new home, and planning our "Farewell UC Theatre" show on January 2, 1999.
Lobbying Landmark proved to be unsuccessful, even after the Farewell show brought in over 1400 people to see the show (not including the 500 we had to turn away). A search continued for a new home for Barely Legal.
After a few false leads fell through, two opportunities showed themselves: The Parkway Picture, Pub, and Pizza, and AMC's Kabuki 8. We worked closely with both theaters and were able to setup shows for BOTH theaters, Parkway would have us on Friday nights, then the Kabuki would be our home on Saturdays. The best part of the deal was that the Friday night show would feature beer and wine. Our Parkway premiere was on February 12, 1999 (to a sellout crowd), and the Kabuki hosted two preview shows (February 27 and March 6), and the official premiere of the weekly run was on March 13.
Now we're approaching our fourth month making both shows successful, and having a great time doing it. Breaking new ground on Fridays with a 21+ only crowd has been a struggle, but with strong support from the owners of the theater, we're still working hard at making the audience count more consistent.
If you're ever in the Bay Area, I very much recommend you check out both Friday and Saturday shows. The theaters are beautiful, both with a good sized 3 foot high stage. The Kabuki boasts a dressing room, along with some awesome backstage areas.