My first experience of Rocky Horror—I was fifteen years old and drunk at an art house movie theater. The nuns at my Catholic high school would not have wanted me to know about men who dress in corsets and high heels. And they definitely would not have approved of my lesbian crush on a girl named Magenta.
For the past thirty-six years, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been playing at midnight film screenings and corrupting young minds in the best ways possible. It’s your typical love story: boy and girl meet bisexual cross-dresser. Fishnet stockings are involved. Choreographed dances, catchy tunes— what’s not to love?
But did you know that Rocky Horror started out on the stage as a work of musical theatre?
This October, Halloween comes early as the Slow Burn Theatre in Boca kicks off their 2011-2012 Season with the original Broadway musical production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Six performances are on the schedule: Fridays, October 21 and 28 at 8pm; and Saturdays, October 22 and October 29 at 8pm and midnight.
Last year at this time, Slow Burn Theatre premiered Rocky Horror to enthusiastic audiences and critics. Matthew Korinko, Co-Artistic Director, recalls how they prepared for that first run of performances: “We had no idea what to expect as far as audience responses, so we invited ‘pros’ from the area who run the midnight showings of [Rocky Horror]…to come to our dress rehearsals and shout everything they could at us. It really prepared us for just about anything.”
However, Korinko admits a few valuable lessons were learned during the production: “One night we incorrectly coached the audience to…[shout the obligatory ‘asshole!’ and ‘slut!’ whenever they heard the names] ‘Brad’ and ‘Janet’… when they should have only responded to the full names ‘Brad Majors’ and ‘Janet Weiss. Made for a long night…but it was still a blast.”
The exchange between the audience and performers is what makes for great theater. As Korinko attests “some of the best audience responses… were reactions to our cast’s willingness to push the boundaries…Wild laughter or…shocked groans [were] as common as the standard shout outs. Audiences really got into the fact that it’s all live—[that’s] an energy you just can’t get from a movie… your energy has an effect on the show.”
One of the reasons for bringing back the time warp to Slow Burn Theatre was “the amazing audience response.” Korinko recalls how “the week after we closed last year… we were already getting calls asking when we were doing it again.”
Why does Rocky Horror continue to attract an audience? “Everyone has a different reason for liking [the show],” says Korinko. “But for me, it’s because it’s unashamed, unapologetic, liberating and just plain fun. It’s an escape for everyone involved.”
This Slow Burn Theatre production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be set aside (temporarily) after this year—so get your tickets now and be liberated.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Slow Burn Theatre Company
West Boca Performing Arts Theatre
on the campus of West Boca Raton High School on Glades Road
Fridays, October 21 and 28 at 8pm
Saturdays, October 22 and October 29 at 8pm & midnight
Tickets available at slowburntheatre.com or 866-811-4111