[Updated] L.A. stage veteran Ken Roht making a vampire film-musical with a Backstreet Boy and a Zappa
Having achieved a slew of on-stage credits in the world of Southern California theater, dance and opera, Ken Roht is taking his act to celluloid, as writer-director of a nearly completed debut feature called “The Bloody Indulgent, A Sexy Vampire Musical.”
Former Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson stars as a vampire with a substance-abuse problem (on top of drinking human blood, that is); his antagonist is a strip-club owner (played by soap opera veteran Brian Gaskill) whose establishment boasts on-stage talent that includes a dancer played by Diva Zappa, youngest daughter of Frank. Producer Kenneth Hughes projects a summer 2011 release.
Roht grew up in Arcadia and got his start in showbiz with the Young Americans, a touring troupe of the scrubbed and wholesome type that used to perform at the Super Bowl until the football gala started featuring more intense fare, such as Justin Timberlake, who coined the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” to explain a key moment in his 2004 halftime duet with Janet Jackson.
In the 1980s Roht switched gears and became a regular cast member in plays by avant-garde L.A. writer-director Reza Abdoh, then started his own troupe, Orphean Circus. He has choreographed for British farce at South Coast Repertory (Alan Bennett’s “Habeas Corpus”), Irish comedy at the Mark Taper Forum (“Stones in His Pockets”), and directed this year’s Long Beach Opera staging of “The Good Soldier Schweik.”
He has worked on a show at Disney’s California Adventure theme park, directed “Guys and Dolls” for a community theater production in Buena Park, choreographed “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at the Roxy and “The Cherry Orchard” at the Evidence Room, and directed 24 dancers holding live pythons and boa constricters, in a 2003 staging of “Temple of the Cosmic Serpent” by Jim Berenholtz.
-- Mike Boehm
[Updated Nov 3, 11:18 a.m.] An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Justin Timberlake as a former member of the Backstreet Boys; he had been a member of 'N Sync.
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Photo: Ken Roht. Credit: Orphean Circus.