THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Returns to the Roxy Tonight at 8pm

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on October 19, 2012

My French friend Paul Menaud met me in London during the summer of ’73. Paul spoke with a heavy Parisian accent. He said, “John, I saw The Rocky ‘Horrible’ Show last night. You must come with me; I must see it again before I go back to Paris.”

I did go with him — and it was “Horror,” not “Horrible.” I didn’t bother to correct him, for it would have been lost in translation. It was magnificent. I had never seen anything like it in my life before — ever.

The show had just opened upstairs at the Royal Court (which is not unlike theotherspace at the Roxy), but it had been so successful there that it had moved and was now playing, oddly enough, in an old abandoned cinema. This was not your traditional venue for London theatre and it, too, was not unlike the Roxy.

Afterward, with much excited discussion about what we just witnessed, Paul and I did the “Time Warp” on the way out and up the street to dinner.

When we produced The Rocky Horror Show here back in 1999, I remember an avid supporter who sponsored productions but didn’t want their name listed on the same marquee with Rocky. A lot has changed in our collective sensibilities since the film. We’ve become less judgmental as a whole and, as a whole, more compassionate and less narrow in our thinking.

When the movie first came out, it was shunned by most critics. However, it found its audience — albeit a cult one — which appeared at midnight shows where a kind of talkback was established. And by repetition, catch phrases ensued, and props became a staple: cards, flashlights, newspapers and Arthur Murray-like directions on how to do the “Time Warp.”

By 1999, the movie had created a theatrical phenomenon — a movie with live audience participation. Now audiences interact with live performers, much like the groundlings in Shakespeare’s time. Everything old is new again, it seems. We have all the props and info you need to view this phenomenon.

Tonight a new group of newbies and oldies will visit the world of Rocky, Frank N. Furter and fellow Transylvanians. It seems somehow ironic that we received the March of Dimes’ accolade of the “Best Place for Family Fun,” as we prepare to present for the second time this cult classic not for the traditional family. But as I’ve said before, we need to be inclusive — and I might add eclectic — in our repertory cannon.

Tonight at 8pm is pay-what-you-can for The Rocky Horror Show. All tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price go on sale at 7:30pm for whatever you want to pay. Saturday is the first annual Roxy Birthday Bash and Yard Sale, located in the lot adjacent to the theatre from 9am until 3pm. Auditions for the Cratchit children in A Christmas Carol are Monday, October 22, at 5pm.

“Hot patootie, bless my soul … I really love that Rock and Roll.”

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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