By Frank Bixler
Six inches of snow, roads blocked by downed trees, power lines shorting out and illuminating the skies were what greeted the arrival of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Sherman theatre on October 29th. Despite the poor weather and rapidly dropping temperatures the show went on, albeit with a smaller crowd than normally attends this yearly ritual.
For those of you not in the know, the Rocky Horror Picture Show is an interactive movie shown around Halloween time at the Sherman theatre annually. The audience is encouraged to bring materials such as toilet paper, squirt guns, flashlights, newspapers and bells which are then thrown, fired, turned on, pulled over your head, or rang during certain scenes in the movie. The plot of the film is often lost in the chaos of flying toilet paper rolls, shouting and general pandemonium. However, it is fairly straightforward. Brad and Janet are a young couple whose car breaks down during a storm. They find a castle just off the road and inquire inside as to whether they can use their phone. The castle is owned by Dr. Frankenfurter, a flamboyant transvestite from the planet transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania, who is dedicated to the pursuit of his hedonistic lifestyle. He then takes in Brad and Janet and encourages them to free their inner passions. During the course of the film, actors perform the movie onstage, recreating scenes from the movie in a crude, but very humorous fashion. Broadway performers they are not, but they contribute to the festive ambiance of the event, as well as go out of their way to occasionally shock the audience. I must admit, this was the first time I ever saw a guy playing Dr. Frankenfurter onstage smack around a massive rubber penis sticking out of Brad’s boxers while simulating a blowjob. Needless to say, everyone’s eyes were wide and so were their smiles.
The show generally draws a large crowd of devoted fans lining the sidewalk outside the theatre, decked out in the transvestite attire of their favorite characters of the movie, along with the first timers with large V’s drawn on their foreheads to indicate they are virgin’s to this unique movie experience. But on that night, the audience was small due to the inclement weather, with only a few smokers standing outside the theatre doors, and most of them weren’t even in costume.
But nonetheless, the friendly staff at the Sherman Theatre put on a fabulous show that evening, despite the weather and despite the small crowds. The event is being shown again on November 11th, when hopefully the weather will be more merciful to our region. Hope to see you there!