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Rocky Horror: Relevant, revamped, and ready

author: alexa lawlor | staff writer

Sterling’s steampunk style is dressed to impress. Photo Credit: Darrol Hoffmeister
Sterling’s steampunk style is dressed to impress. Photo Credit: Darrol Hoffmeister

Fans of Rocky Horror think they’ve seen it all. Sterling Productions says otherwise.

Halloween is fast approaching, and you know what that means: It’s time to get out your fishnets and bustiers and do the time warp again. That’s right, Sterling Productions’ annual performances of the Rocky Horror Show are coming up quick. They will be held at the Conexus Arts Centre from Oct. 25-27, and tickets are selling out fast. If you have yet to purchase yours, hurry up! Time is fleeting, you know.

So, for you lovely Rocky virgins, what’s the show all about? Well…what’s the show not all about? Rocky Horror has a bit of everything. There’s singing, dancing, laughter, a bit of confusion…and audience participation! One of the best things about the Rocky Horror Show is that the audience is crucial to help the show run smoothly. If you’re new, there’s no need to worry about bringing the right props, because there will be participation kits available to purchase for $5 at all the shows, which will have everything you’ll need (meaning you can’t bring rice, sorry). There will even be prompts to follow along so you know exactly when to use each prop. However, it would be a good idea to brush up on your callouts, and definitely don’t be afraid to come in costume!

Of course, I could never forget about the die-hard Rocky fans that already know everything there is to know about the show! You’ve had your costume picked out for what seems like forever in antici…pation, and you know all the callouts…but the Sterling Productions version has something new in store for you this year. The theme for this year is steampunk! I got to see a sneak peak of some of the costumes, and they are definitely something to see, especially for those that are used to costumes from past years or from the movie.

Now, speaking of the movie, if you’re a huge fan and aren’t sure if the performances will do it justice, don’t worry. Every member of the cast is incredibly talented. From what I had the chance to preview, as well as from what the people involved have told me, all the heart that makes Rocky Horror is there. When I asked the cast if the die-hard fans would enjoy this version, everyone I talked to answered with a resounding “YES!” Artistic Director Shanna-Marie Jones is a die-hard Rocky fan herself, and she says that she wants to stay as true to the original as possible, while also adding in new twists to keep it fresh on stage.

Rocky Horror has a huge cultural significance, especially when you consider the fact that the show has hung on for over forty years now. So, what exactly is this cultural significance? Shanna-Marie Jones, Artistic Director of the show, says that:

“At the time it was created, it really spoke to a marginalized group of people, [a group of people] that weren’t allowed to be themselves. So it gave everybody the opportunity to either come out of the shadows and be who they really were, or it made other people aware that you know, transgender people were there,” said Jones. “It was the first step in the direction of acceptance.”

Jones continued to talk about the message of acceptance, and even experimentation into things you might not even realize that you like!

“I think it’s super important at that level, because it tells everyone that these marginalized people – that they’re just people, they’re just there, and they’re just having a blast, they’re having a great time, and I think that people who see the show, like my husband for example,” Jones noted. “He said ‘I’m not sure if I want to see men in underwear’ and then he went and he saw it, and when I asked ‘How’d you like it?’ he said ‘I didn’t even realize they were in underwear’ and I was like ‘See!’ That’s what it’s about, acceptance, and that’s what it teaches, and I think that’s really incredible.”

It’s important to our community here in Regina to have annual performances of the Rocky Horror Show because of this message of acceptance, as well as the fact that there’s really not a lot of theatre like it happening in Regina.

Personally, this will be my fourth year going to the Rocky Horror Show, and it’s definitely one of my favourite things about the Halloween season. You can feel the energy in the room, and the audience participation makes you feel like you’re a huge part of the show, even if you’re not up on the stage. It’s impossible to leave without at least one of the songs stuck in your head, and you’ll find yourself doing the time warp for a long time afterwards. The Rocky Horror Show gives you the opportunity to dress up however you want without being judged (shout out to the guys that wear heels; you always amaze me, since I know how hard they can be). The show really just allows you to get away from real life for a while.

About Alexa Lawlor