Hello Frank N. Furter fans! As freaky as it is, people LOVE “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Get your costumes ready. It’s time to play dress-up and head to the movie this week in Tempe! I bet there will be a new crowd, too…with this week’s Glee episode.
‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’
When: 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29-30.
Where: Madcap Theaters, 730 S. Mill Ave., Tempe.
Admission: $15, recommended for mature audiences only. Rated R.
Details: 602-705-6685, myspace.com/azrocky.
(Courtesy of Joe Golfen – Arizona Republic)
Thirty-five years ago, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” arrived in theaters, and few people seemed to care.
What had been a huge hit play in London, bombed as an American movie.
Today, the film is a camp classic, and the longest-running theatrical release in film history.
So how did a story about a cute young couple, a transsexual, transvestite mad scientist, creepy servants and a homo-erotic “monster” become one of pop culture’s most enduring hits?
Because even with all that outrageousness, the story is timeless, speaking to anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider, said Matthew Yenkala of Come As You Are Productions, the organization hosting a performance-and-screening weekend.
Friday and Saturday, Tempe’s Madcap Theaters hosts screenings of the film, asking the public to come dressed as characters from the film and to be ready to sing, shout and come up on stage.
Yenkala and a group of actors will pantomime the story in front of the screen, dramatically re-creating the zany story made infamous by Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf. The audience shouts lines and jokes throughout the night.
Before the screening there will be a “Virgin Sacrifice,” a traditional, good-natured hazing of “Rocky Horror” first-timers.
“I first fell in the love with the movie as a misfit high school dropout,” said Yenkala, “and not only did I love the movie and the songs, but for the first time in my life, I felt like I had found a peer group.
“Amid all this sexy fun, I found a place where I was really accepted for who I was, and that’s the kind of feeling we try to foster at all the screenings.”
For more than three decades, “Rocky Horror” has been a late-night B-movie cultural phenomenon, drawing in hordes of the young-at-heart, most in costumes and makeup, with its story of freaks celebrating their individuality. Also, the movie has a bunch of actors running around in their underwear and performing lavish musical numbers, so that’s fun, too.
This inclusive, over-the-top atmosphere has led to hundreds of thousands of campus and community performances and screenings, and this week, Fox’s “Glee” devoted an episode to “Rocky Horror” to mark the film’s 35th anniversary.
Basha High School student Amanda LaCasse went to her first “Rocky Horror” screening when she was 12, and five years later, she still can’t get enough of it. The welcoming atmosphere and the wild, fun-loving crowd keeps her coming back.
“It’s like a big family, and it allows people to really let loose and just be themselves,” said LaCasse. “When you go to ‘Rocky Horror,’ it’s like you forget about everything . . . and just have fun.”
LaCasse said even if newcomers are nervous, they should be open to the experience.
“Don’t lie about being a ‘Rocky’ virgin, because they will find you and they will get you onstage,” she said. “And you’ll be so glad they did, because it’s so much fun to put yourself in a new, crazy situation.”
Yenkala hosted Saturday night screenings of “Rocky Horror” at Chandler Cinemas for more than a year, until the theater closed last year. Now, he hopes to find a permanent home in the Valley for the spectacle.
“There’s no shortage of disaffected suburban youth today and people that feel like outcasts,” Yenkala said. “And as long as they exist, ‘Rocky Horror’ will be here for them.”