Oct 15, 2013

Rocky Horror Show Live: New Brads, Janets, and Rockies in Gold Lame Shorts

What can you do with a movie that encouraged a generation of LGBT people, "Don't dream it -- be it"?

That encouraged the audience to participate by talking back, throwing things, and playing along with the characters?

That audiences played along to, week after week, year after year, until they had every image, every word, every gesture memorized?

That spawned a dozen catchphrases and a warehouse full of tie-in books, magazines, cards, and toys?

What's left to do with the Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Revive the original play, which ran in London from 1973 to 1980.

It's considerably different from the movie -- new songs, different dialogue, Magenta and Columbia have different characters, and most interestingly, Rocky talks.  A whole new take on the Rocky Horror universe (you can read the script here).

Revivals began in  1990 in Britain.  In the U.S., a Broadway revival played from 2000 to 2002, with every beefcake hunk imaginable cast as the underwear-clad Brad, the gold-lame muscleman Rocky, and sweet transvestite Frank-n-Furter: James Royce Edwards,  Luke Perry, Micah Thompson, Jonathan Sharp,

There are new costumes, new cast dynamics, new subtexts -- being gay or transvestite is not nearly as shocking today-- and a raucous evocation of the long ago disco- and sex-obsessed era of the 1970s.

It's now playing everywhere, in high schools, colleges, community theaters, little theaters.  Halloween season is most popular, but it can be seen at any time.  According to the official show blog, here's where it's coming up in 2014:

The Grandview Playhouse, MA, April-May
The Bangor Opera House, ME, June
The Ivory Theater, MO, October
Downtown Theatre, CA, October
World Trade Center Theatre, OR, October
Oh Canada Eh?, Niagara Falls, October

So even if you've had some terrible thrills many, many times before, it's always exciting to go down to the lab and see what's on the slab. Let's do the Time Warp again.