The Rocky Horror Show: sleazy and spicy
Author: Michaela Solomon
It’s that time of year again folks! For those of you used to getting down and dirty with the cast of The Rocky Horror Show, the time to get your tickets is now.
The going on forty-year tradition of throwing on your least appropriate outfit, throwing rice, and spraying water at the actors is back in full swing. If you’re not familiar with the practice, here’s a brief history:
Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show hit London’s West End in 1973. From the stage production stemmed a movie, which was further known as The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975.
Rocky is a raunchy tribute to the cheesy sci-fi’s of the 40s and 50s. Narrated by a criminologist, the audience follows the poor luck of newly engaged Brad and Janet, who accidently stumble upon the home of a transvestite scientist and his minions as he is about to unveil Rocky: a muscle man he created for his own ‘personal pleasure.’
The movie, which flopped upon its release, gained a huge international cult following as a midnight movie. Shown on television or in cinemas at midnight, Rocky fans started to speak back to the actors during the showings and even began to dress up as the characters.
Fast-forward an odd thirty-some years, today Rocky is still a cultural phenomenon, which usually rears its head around Halloween in cities all over the world. Audiences come out in the hundreds dressed as their favourite character to take in the horror of Frank N Furter and his latest creation.
The show is equipped with characters, both frightening and the frightened, a catchy collection of rock and roll songs, and its own set of audience participation rules. These rules include spraying water guns when the actors are caught in the rain, shouting sexual, offensive, or just downright ridiculous things at the actors, and, the best part, booing the narrator off stage through every monologue he performs.
Sterling Productions’ Artistic Director Shanna-Marie Jones says, “It’s been a whirlwind! Rocky is my favourite show, and getting to recreate it with such talented people has been a real gift.”
Jones, with the help of her mother, Bernie Tice, managed to gather an entire cast of experienced actors and piece the show together in just over a month.
“Rocky is such a classic, and everyone should see it at least once in their life!” Jones explains. “It’s like no other show. It’s an expectation for our audiences to be loud and obnoxious in the most polite way. It gives the show an unparalleled energy.”
“I love being in the show and playing the role of Brad because he’s such an iconic character,” says Jason Fisher, who has played Brad quite a few times. “The calling back of lines and use of props by the audience throughout the show really adds another dimension to live theatre that you don’t really experience in other productions.”
“I’m so honored to be casted as Columbia two years in a row,” says Montana Adams. “The Rocky Horror Show is so outrageously awesome, from the jokes to the songs, it’s hard to come to rehearsal and not have an absolute blast! Get your bustiers on, and let’s get dirty!”
Don’t just take their word for it. Sterling Productions’ The Rocky Horror Show can be seen at the Riddell Centre Theatre Oct. 28-30. Tickets are on sale now at the Conexus Box Office!