LA Council declares ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show Day’ to mark 40th anniversary

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

“Rocky Horror” takes the stage at the Wilma.

It seemed like a normal day at Los Angeles’ City Hall but when council member Paul Koretz announced that they would be honoring ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and making Friday (October 30) a day to mark the film’s 40th anniversary, the hall came alive with song and dance. ‘The Time Warp,’ the famous anthem from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” rang out across City Hall and members of the film’s shadow cast – a performance troupe that acts out the film alongside its screening – entered the hall dancing in their various costumes. It doesn’t seem possible to produce an over the top Rocky Horror Show, yet a creative team performing in rented spaces and featuring some of jville’s most exciting theatre players has done exactly that.Tonight (Friday, Oct. 30)–at midnight– the Rose Theatre in Brampton will recreate part of its eternal appeal as it brings a fall tradition to the city. After Curry and the film’s producer were presented with an official plaque and declaration, the actor spoke to the press, describing his defining ‘Rocky Horror’ moment as “the moment the check cleared.” Curry has been in a wheelchair since suffering from a stroke a few years ago, but spoke on about why he thought the film had a timeless quality to it and has continued to be in cinemas since its release in 1975, saying “it’s partly because it was beautifully lit and beautifully shot and it happened very quickly.”

Sequined gowns, fright wigs, leather and lace bustiers and fishnet stockings also abounded at the opening of the “Rocky Horror Show.” And, that was just in the audience, and that was just the boys in the audience! Some tickets are still available, so Bramptonians are urged to don a costume of their favourite character from the movie and make a beeline to the theatre. Furter — a “sweet transvestite” from Transylvania who welcomes a buttoned-up couple to his castle after their car gets a flat tire on a rainy November night. He’s not the only one, with the movie drawing “crazy fans, ardent fans, the devoted fans, the kids who keep this movie alive week after week, year after year,” Piro said. Panned by critics when it opened, it later inspired fans who dressed up as its outlandish characters, toted props like water pistols and newspapers, acted out scenes and shouted at the screen at interactive midnight screenings.

While the B horror movie-inspired musical comedy received poor initial reviews, it launched a “unique and enthralling” cultural phenomenon of fervent audience participation during midnight screenings, Koretz said. This familiarity, and let’s face it fanaticism, posed a real challenge for the Barn Arts Collective cast who had the temerity to turn off the projector and perform the beloved show with a real live band, real live acting dancing and singing and something close to real live X-rated punk porn. Participants will be permitted to utilize newspapers, toilet paper, flashlights, rubber gloves noisemakers, party hats and bells during some participatory scenes. Koretz said it had transformed “the very nature of the cinematic experience.” Beyond its campy theatrics, “the film has also been helpful in the gay and bisexual rights movement, the acceptance of fabulous drag queens and has provided an essential community for people who otherwise may feel themselves on the fringe of society,” Koretz said. For almost two hours, this high-energy, high-volume, highly raunchy musical show had the audience singing along, speaking dialogue along with the actors, shouting out comments — usually improper comments — and even dancing in the aisles; activities usually forbidden at a live theater show — just ask Shia Labeouf— but actually encouraged at a “Rocky Horror” event.

Frank-n-Furter, the “sweet transvestite” scientist from “Transsexual, Transylvania” who is eager to unveil his lab creation to the unsuspecting, recently engaged couple, Brad and Janet. The Friday presentation also included remarks from fan club president Sal Piro and a costumed performance of the “Time Warp” by Sins O’The Flesh, which performs weekly at the NuArt Theatre. The show will follow a young couple that are engaged and whose car breaks down during a torrential rain near a castle where they seek a telephone so that they can call for help. Frank’n Furter, Ferm and Parker couldn’t have been more perfectly annoying with their cloying sweetness and naiveté or more fun to watch as they are seduced by the madness.

Riff-Raff, the “butler,” (deliciously and archly played by Chris Tyler) who ushers the young couple into the insanity, has never looked prettier as he sashayed around the manse, looking permanently miffed about something. This production has been helmed by husband and wife duo with direction by Erik DeCicco, and musical direction by Aaron DeCicco, and with choreography by Jocelyn Geronimo. The band for Rocky will be filled out with some of Jacksonville’s finest – including Tom Bennett (The Tom Bennett Band), Damon Martin (Aida, Rent), Chris Poland (Fusebox Funk, The Parker Urban Band), Jacob Schumann (Aida, Grease). Lyndsey Anderson was as delightfully seductive playing the rhythm guitar as she is in role of the Narrator who helps tie the whole cockamamie story line together.

Costume designer Elizabeth May who has done a bang-up job throughout really outdoes herself here with Frank’s steam-punk corset, cobbled together with satin, leather straps and plumbing hardware. The stage band, a perfect union of NYC and MDI musicians, is ridiculously good, with special kudos to trumpeter Joseph Dupuis and drummer Beau Lisy — although the latter might consider lowering his cymbals a tad so the audience can see his face. While the Criterion is a superb acoustic theater, when you start amplifying things, especially singing, the sound tends to get muddied and words get lost. The singing — especially the big chorus numbers — is great and if one can’t exactly understand the words they are singing, you sure do get the gist.

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