Business prof plays acoustic Rocky Horror

Can you stand the an-ti-ci-pation?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

John Siambanopoulos as Dr. Frank-N-Furter

"EVEN SMILING MAKES MY FACE ACHE." A Western prof is playing the famous fictional transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter in a local production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Don't forget to bring your newspaper and toast, ladies and gents.

On Halloween night, Western business professor John Siambanopoulos becomes Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.

Siambanopoulos and his band don the eccentric costumes of characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to cover the 1975 cult classic.

Siambanopoulos is passionate about performing, whether in front of a class or a crowd. He doesn’t think of his day job as disconnected from his night gig, though only one of the two has a dress code of fishnets and high heels.

“I’m trying to deliver something be it a song or ... financial analysis,” Siambanopoulos explains. “I mean, I don’t find them as too far off, as weird as that sounds.”

Siambanopoulos’ candid delivery in class lends itself toward the flamboyant delivery of his shows. The professor describes his teaching style as very upfront. “I’m not one to hide behind " not show people " what I’m expecting.”

When Siambanopoulos takes the stage as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, he uses nothing but a microphone and a corset. The musician says his performance style allows him to act as sexy as he wants to.

Strangely enough, Siambanopoulos owes his sexual freedom on stage to his teaching experience at King’s University College. After being a supporting member of a King’s College production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, he realized the potential of the classic songs.

“I do stuff that people don’t normally play, and I thought, why not do a one man Rocky Horror Picture Show? Like who does that? Nobody!”

Over the next four years, Siambanopoulos’ one-man acoustic guitar show turned into a four-person band, and an initial show at the Round Tower developed into a three year run at the Rockwater Brew & BBQ.

Siambanopoulos credits his continuing success with the show to online communication. He says Facebook compensates for a lack of marketing because it makes contacting people so easy.

“The power of the Internet, I have to say, is one of the best things ever because ... people are actually forwarding this stuff and talking about it,” he enthuses.

In his fifth Hallowe’en-time show, Siambanopoulos promises a bigger spectacle and a different flavour. More importantly, though, his girlfriend has promised to apply his makeup this time, so that he will look “like less of a clown, and more like a tranny.”

Siambanopoulos is not concerned about the effect of his show on his job. “I have tenure now. It’s not like [Western’s] going to fire me.”

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack will be performed this Saturday, Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. at The Rockwater Brew and BBQ. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.

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