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A bizarrely entertaining showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at River Oaks.

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photo courtesy Landmark River Oaks website
photo courtesy Landmark River Oaks website


The wonderfully creepy “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” had audiences singing and dancing along until the wee-hours of August 13 at the Landmark River Oaks Theatre. Each midnight screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at River Oaks includes a live cast that acts out all the memorable scenes in front of the big screen.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a 1975 film adaptation of a British musical of the same name. Ever since the film became a “midnight” movie, it gained an intense cult following with intensely loyal fans. The movie is a spoof of the mainstream cinema—B-movies, horror and science fiction films— from the 1940s to the 1970s. It follows Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) – a newly engaged couple with a flat tire who find themselves in Frank-N-Furter’s time-warping castle. The film stars Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a mad and extremely sexual transvestite scientist with no shame and luscious red lips. Once he steps into the film with his ultra spiky stilettos, the pelvic-thrusting-madness unfolds.

The screening will probably come as a shock to anyone who is not a Rocky Horror aficionado or exceptionally caffeinated. There were throngs of people of all ages hanging outside, wearing all sorts of bizarre ensembles that only make sense if you have seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” : short dresses, frilly underwear, fish-net stockings, crazy make-up and crazy curly wigs. There was also a good number of couples dressed like the sexually repressed dynamic-duo Brad and Janet. The winning costume, was the simplest, a chubby guy with glasses in nothing but tighty whiteys paying homage to the awkward Brad after he’s stripped down by Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s posse.

The live cast did a great job making the film even spoofier than it’s supposed to be with their impromptu costumes, over-the-top facial expressions and cheesy props. However, this is definitely not the show to go to unless you can somehow convince yourself that it’s all in good fun. Almost every live scene was overtly sexual, even when it didn’t have to be, there was no lack of bras flopping around and many offensive comments yelled out by the audience.

The regulars were easy to spot because they knew all the lines and had all the proper responses – i.e. whenever Brad appears on screen, you’re supposed to yell “asshole,” and when Janet does, you yell “slut” with true grit and fervor! Someone in the middle row brilliantly yelled, “What’s your favorite Star Trek character?” and a moment later, right on cue, Dr. Frank-N-Furter on screen delicately responded, “Spock.” Then there were the newcomers with big fascinated eyes. The person in charge of giving out the rules (no throwing things at the cast members or the screen, etc.) made the newcomers stand up and pledge their allegiance to Tim Curry’s mystique.

The audience was enthusiastic, throwing toilet paper around, whistling, yelling, clapping in unison and singing The Rolling Stone’s song “You Can’t Always Get What you Want” at the pseudo-dramatic ending. It was a bizarrely entertaining show, but if you’re not used to being up that late, it may feel dragged out. Yet, if you’re up for it, you’ll see how great of an experience the audience makes it because they really take their Rocky Horror seriously.

The next midnight showing is September 10. Tickets are $10 at the door and $8 with valid student identification.



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