Since high school, I’ve had fond memories of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which opened with the first of four screenings Wednesday night at ARTS at Marks Garage. It was all about pushing the limits, wearing the most outlandish outfits possible and having incredible amounts of fun in an environment that our parents would have considered taboo and forbidden us to go, had they known the details.
Released in 1975, the classic musical comedy horror film directed by Jim Sharman has been shocking the uninitiated and delighting its fans ever since. Today, the film is the best-known midnight movie out there, with a huge international cult following.
“Rocky Horror” is all about discovery, debauchery and audience participation — losing oneself (and one’s “virginity”). It’s vulgar, offensive to some, and still, after all this time, wild, weird and unconventional to a high degree.
One of the experiences of going to a “Rocky Horror” show that you can’t get watching the movie by yourself is the infamous counterpoint dialogue, usually led by a member of the audience. Snarky, vulgar, intentionally annoying or just plain clever, the call and response is now as much a part of the show as the movie itself. Although there’s a generally accepted “script” that many regulars expect, it’s okay for others to throw in clever ad libs (although you might find yourself booed if you time it wrong or other people don’t think it’s funny).
The “Rocky Horror” floor show at ARTS at Marks Garage isn’t big budget, but the elements are there, and the live actors do a good job of staying in sync with the movie. It’s the first-time James Sigmon has played Dr. Frank N. Furter, but he does a delightful job of portraying the flamboyant “sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.”
“I didn’t have a heart tattoo though, so I decided to shave one in my chest,” he said.
Pretty Peacock Productions/Cherry Blossom Cabaret dancer Rikita Turner as Columbia is perfectly cast, pulling off the dances, even the tap dance, with ease. Especially interesting is the gender swap between Brad (Isabelle Guzman) and Janet (Jim Etherton), but that’s what “Rocky Horror” is all about: Pushing the envelope and delivering the unexpected to delight and amuse.
Here are a few pictures from the show. If you’re a “Rocky Horror” virgin, we’re not going to give it away, but if you’re a fan of cult flicks, campy horror flicks and just plain inappropriate fun, it’s a show not to miss this Halloween season.
Rocky Horror Picture Show @ ARTS at Marks Garage
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
The ARTS at Marks Garage
Oct. 29-Nov. 1
Doors 7:30 p.m., Movie 8 p.m.
$15 presale, $20 at the door