A cult classic that hardly needs any introduction, Rocky Horror Picture Show has continued to shock “virgins,” first-time viewers of the musical, with its non-conforming way of encouraging self expression.
The production begins with an innocent-hearted couple that ends up at the spectacle that is Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion. With the introduction of every vivacious character, the pair loses a little more of their inhibitions, gaining the self-approval to be themselves.
Rocky Horror has permeated the lives of most adolescents and doesn’t appear without leaving an impact. Remy Searfoss, a freshman majoring in mass communications, got her first taste of the 1973 world-wind when she tried her hand at theater.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show is something I’ve heard of all my life, but never experienced until I was a freshman in high school,” Searfoss said. “I was very involved in theater; my freshman year in theater we volunteered at something very similar to Halloween Horror Nights at a local theme park.”
While the musical holds audiences all year round, there’s a spark around Halloween that brings fans out. Movie theaters across the nation will show the film adaptation. Homemade costumes bring friends together. Local theaters showcase their own midnight performances, encouraging guests to bring their own props of rice, newspapers and toast, among other things.
“We took part in the Fright Nights at Silver Springs. Leading up to the night before we actually started working the event, we had rehearsals of the dance to the Time Warp,” Searfoss said.
The opening lyrics of the song, sung by the character Riff Raff, the obscure butler, “It’s astounding,” would resonate through the haunted walk-ways of the park, cueing the walker to march into place.
“We had to do it every hour, on the hour, while working the event dressed in our zombie and horror outfits,” Searfoss said. “It was so much fun. When I found out the song was actually from Rocky Horror, I had to watch the movie. It was a masterpiece and I loved it with all my heart.”
The musical is filled with a cast of LGBTQ characters that allows audience members to find themselves in a show combined with classic horror film novelties: monsters, aliens and cannibalism. Most shadowcast productions have audiences filled with members of the LGBTQ community, bringing a sense of companionship to an evening filled with laughs and gasps.
Hosting a range of voices and stories, the soundtrack remains a top album of choice to sing along to in the mirror. Deja Takeko Johnson, a junior majoring in social work, is no novice at the hands of a hairbrush microphone.
“The song I enjoy most from the soundtrack is ‘I’m Going Home.’ I think it is reminiscent of old blues music,” Johnson said. “The song is short, but it is able to tell a story and show emotion. It is one of the less fun songs of the play, but it gives you an insight to the true feelings of the character.”
“I’m Going Home,” is sang by the leading role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter with watery eyes and still-glimmering, smudged blue eyeshadow. A peak in the character’s development where the doctor’s previously non-existent vulnerability comes out.
Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania, built a fortress for what was then the socially obscure and Rocky Horror Picture Show opened the door for the masses.