The Rocky Horror Show Comes to DeYor

By Emily Isaac
Jambar Contributor

“The Rocky Horror Show” is coming to downtown Youngstown on Halloween. The show is being directed by Joe Asente, founder of the Millennial Theatre Company.

The show will run until Nov. 2 at the DeYor Performing Arts Center. Asente has been with the company since it began in 2016 and has directed most of its previous productions, such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Carrie the Musical” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“This cast has created a modern, original retelling of this cult classic,” Asente said.

Savannah Florkowski, the music director for MTC, said they are lucky to have a talented group of singers, actors and dancers.

Florkowski began her involvement with MTC when she met Asente in college. This is her fourth show as the music director, and she is also the marketing coordinator for MTC’s board.

She teaches all of the music for the show, organizes and rehearses the five-piece pit that will also be leading for the show.

“The main challenge, especially with a cult classic like this show, is that we have to make sure we give the audience what they came for, plus so much more,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Savanna Florkowski

The show will be featuring some of Youngstown’s best performers such as Ben Bogen as Brad, Makayla Robinson as Janet and the critically acclaimed Josh Flemming as Eddie.

“The show itself is off the wall, in the best way,” Bogen said.

Bogan has been acting on and off since his sophomore year in high school, but this is his first production with MTC. He had auditioned for MTC before for the production of “Carrie” and was cast as Billy Nolan, but had to pull out due to scheduling complications.

He said he’s excited to take up the part of Brad, who he described as very uptight and nerdy in a Clark Kent kind of way, but without the “super power alter ego.”

Makayla Robinson, playing the role of Janet, is an Ohio- and New York City-based actor. She moved from Newton Falls, Ohio, to New York City to follow her dreams as an actress after graduating from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre.

Robinson recently moved back to Ohio to be with family after a life threatening accident and various injuries. She also moved back to heal and pursue opportunities here. She has been acting most of her life and has starred in roles such as Punky/Reno in the Grand Ole Opry cast of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” musical. She also toured with the national production of “A Chorus Line” this past year.

When she was only 8 years old, Robinson starred in Kent Trumbull’s “The Children of Eden,” and a year later, she acted in “Annie” at the Salem Community Theatre, both directed by Asente.

Most recently, she taught a masters dance class through MTC. This is what led her on her path to Janet in the “Rocky Horror Show.”

Janet, being a more conservative based character, at first tries to do all she can to escape the insanity of the castle.

“Once she succumbs to sexual pleasure, it opens up a new part of her that she is desperate to explore,” Robinson said.

Asente said this will truly be a night that others won’t want to miss with some of the best talent this area has to offer.