Griffin Lea returns as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the annual stage production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Metro Theatre, Oct. 26 and 27. Andrew Barrett photo

Griffin Lea returns as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the annual stage production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Metro Theatre, Oct. 26 and 27. Andrew Barrett photo

Rocky Horror returns to the stage Wednesday

Rocky Horror Picture Show runs Oct. 18 to 29 at Metro Studio Theatre

Atomic Vaudeville’s stage production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show has become an annual ritual ahead of Halloween.

This year’s show returns to the Metro Studio Theatre, starring Saanich-raised Griffin Lea as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who helped launch the show in 2013.

This year the company is holding 12 shows, from Oct. 18 to 29, including late showins on Thursday, Oct. 26, and Friday, Oct. 27, at 10 p.m.

Rocky evolves and grows every year, but this year there’s especially more change, Lea said.

“2017 is our biggest shake-up yet with more than half the cast coming up to the lab for the very first time,” Lea said. “This fresh blood is invigorating and is bringing thrilling new energy to this year’s rehearsal process.”

Britt Small remains as Rocky’s director and the artistic producer (from Atomic Vaudeville) as does production designer Jimbo Insell.

“Small plumbs the creative depths of these ‘freshies’ [actors] and draws out their most truthful and powerful work,” Lea said. “She challenges those of us returning to dig deeper into our roles, ask entirely different questions, and absorb the brand new energy offered to us by those joining us for the first time.”

Known as a cult production with regular fans, Atomic’s Rocky does have an annual audience but the majority are first-timers, and it makes for a great balance of energy, Lea said.

Surprisingly, the first-timers are not only virgins of the stage production, but also the original 1975 film.

“We have a number of people who join us yearly, and sometimes multiple times a year, who provide a warm and seasoned welcome for first timers,” Lea said. “The 10 p.m. shows are nuts and some of our absolute best.”

Shows are: Oct. 18 – Preview – 8:00 – 10:00

Oct. 19 8:00 – 10:00

Oct. 20 8:00 – 10:00

Oct. 21 7:00 – 9:00 & 10:00 – 12:00

Oct. 24 8:00 – 10:00

Oct. 25 8:00 – 10:00

Oct. 26 7:00 – 9:00 & 10:00 – 12:00

Oct. 27 7:00 – 9:00 & 10:00 – 12:00

Oct. 29 8:00 – 10:00

reporter@saanichnews.com