Last night, I had the pleasure of going to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at a theatre in my city – and it was good. Some things to know before you read this post, however: where I live, screenings only happen about three times a year, and there aren’t live performers acting out the movie in front of the screen, as some of you may have seen in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. There are still, however, many rabid fans in costume who like to throw stuff and shout out lines. Now that we’ve got that sorted, on with the show!
So last night I showed up to the theatre dressed as Magenta, (“A Domestic”), complete with big teased hair and a tatty apron. As I waited in the foyer, I took a moment to soak up the atmosphere. Guys in makeup and corsets! Girls with sparkly hats and tap shoes! Other lunatics in costume – I was among my own people! It was truly a sight to see, and what was even better was when we got into the auditorium and the show began. An MC, dressed as a hunchback a la Riff-Raff , came out onto the stage in a flurry of pelvic thrusts and makeup, and in an accented voice, invited of the costumed freaks and geeks to present themselves on stage. With me being… well, me, I ran up onto the stage and took my place next to a twenty-something guy dressed as Frank n Furter. He had fabulous shoes and a tiny glass of over-priced champagne in his hand, and as it turned out, he was a regular – later he was up on stage acting out “Sweet Transvestite” with the exact choreography that Tim Curry was performing on screen.
Anyway, the movie began, and as we Time-Warped our way through the songs, the witty dialogue and the eyebrow raising scenes, it felt like the five-hundred or so of us in that auditorium were connected, brought together by a mutual obsession for this cult movie. People shouted lines and threw props, which brings me to my next point: if you do go to one of these screenings, (and I strongly recommend it for fans of Rocky or anyone looking for a fun night), go prepared! With last night being my first time, I didn’t really know many of the lines and I wasn’t aware that props were allowed (some theatres are conscious of mess) so I didn’t have any. But fortunately for you, dear reader, I will outline some of the required tools of the trade here, so you can truly experience Rocky in the way it has been done since the seventies.
- Rice – this is for throwing during the scene where Betty Munro and Ralph Hapschatt get married. Try not to get it in people’s eyes!
- Newspaper (preferably “The Plain Dealer” as in the movie) – Cover your head with this when Brad and Janet get stuck in the rainstorm. Some theatres allow water guns to simulate the rain, but the one I was at didn’t – check beforehand if you’re unsure!
- Lighter or mobile phone – when they sing “There’s a light… over at the Frankenstein place!”
- Noise makers such as those blow-y whistle things or those clappy things – for the lab scene at the end of Frank’s speech
- Confetti (or more rice) – when Rocky and Frank walk into the bedroom after the “I Can Make You a Man” reprise.
- Toilet paper – when Brad yells, “Great Scott!”
- Playing Cards – when Frank sings the line “Cards for sorrow, cards for pain” during “I’m Going Home”. (At the theatre I was at, there must have been about 500 cards sprinkling down from the dress circle – it was great!)
There are also many lines that are yelled during the show, and most people like to sing along. The lines differ from theatre to theatre, so that’s just something you have to learn for yourself. Plus, it’s more fun when you’re not expecting the lines, because some of them are hilarious and don’t make much sense unless they’re accompanying the movie.
Last night was a night out that – just like Brad and Janet’s in the movie – I will remember for a very long time. I really urge everybody to go because – whether you’re a fan of the movie or not – the atmosphere is electric and it’s a brilliant experience.
You’ll shiver with antici…
As always, feel free to email me and share your Rocky experiences!