Bellingham choreographer relishes ‘Rocky Horror’ road

The newest show at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon will measure its success not by applause and ovations, but by how much toast and debris is thrown on stage.

“The Rocky Horror Show,” famous for its raucous audience participation, debuted Friday night at the theater after months of planning. Michelle Millar, owner of Mi Shoes in downtown Bellingham, has had a frenetic few months juggling her shoe shop, her family and her new job choreographing for the show. But she sees a light at the end of the hectic tunnel.

“I keep thinking I can’t get any busier, but something else comes up,” she says. “I keep having to remind my family and my employees that there’s an end in sight.”

She and Kyla Dennis choreographed more than 10 dances for the show. It was a daunting assignment, but all the work made it to the stage in full Rocky Horror glory.

“It’s raunchy, it’s sexual,” Millar says. “It’s everything you’d expect from Rocky Horror.”

Director Jane Skinner hoped to keep the production as true as possible to the 1975 cult classic movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

“I think it’ll be great,” Millar says. “I think people are familiar enough with ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ that they know what to expect. I think everyone’s going to welcome it. … We’re hoping people come back a second and third time. It should be different every night with different audiences.”

With the immense popularity of the original movie, Millar says she’s surprised it took so long for the production to come to this area. But now that the show is here, Millar hopes audiences can get into the Rocky Horror spirit and appreciate the show’s frank and honest sexuality.

“I don’t know if it sparked the sexual revolution or if it was in the midst of it,” Millar says. “But it represents finding your sexuality. Sexuality is a huge part of who I am and who most people are, and I think people can relate to that.”