Captivating audiences for more than 40 years, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a Halloween classic. The film’s core message is all about sex and the push to be yourself.
The show has produced iconic songs, including “The Time Warp,” and the hit series “Glee” devoted an entire episode to the show.
Each year, hundreds of fans dress up in costume to attend a showing at Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in Ogden.
“’The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ isn’t just about sex. It’s about physical pleasure without labels — man and woman, man-on-man, drag queens, Frankenstein monster action and aliens,” Tonia Waller said.
She and her daughter are huge fans not only of the message but also of the “fantastic music.” Waller insists “Tim Curry is sexy dressed as a woman.”
There are few movies that prove successful year after year, but critics believe this one is pivotal because it challenges the norm and allows people to be themselves — to be out, to be proud and to pursue their desires.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” debuted 1975, a time when drugs, sex, rock-n-roll and homosexual tendencies were rampant. People, sick of all the riots, the bigotry, the wars and the toxic news that were enveloping their daily lives, found a little bit of peace in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
For those unfamiliar with the show, Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon), a naive couple whose car breaks down on a rainy night, stop by a dark castle to borrow a phone and seek shelter. Little did they know, they happened upon a party thrown by Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transsexual, and his legion of Transylvanians (including the show’s creator, Richard O’Brien).
Dr. Frank-N-Furter creates a mute Frankenstein monster for his sexual gratification. He then murders his ex-boyfriend and forces his visitors to consume the corpse. Finally, he seduces the poor, disoriented couple.
Eventually, Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s antics are too much for even his outlandish friends, so they kill him. Janet and Brad are obviously damaged beyond repair but manage to escape.
Curry explained, in an interview with Mark Caldwell in 1975, that there was some hesitancy in taking on the lead and the difficulty it might produce in shaking off a certain image, but he said, “It isn’t worth doing unless you take a risk.”
The hit show is intentionally sardonic, over-the-top and poorly produced. Its gender-bending notion appeals to spectators, as does the tribute to sci-fi B movies. It has a timeless and extraordinary soundtrack featuring flippant lyrics, iconic imagery and slapstick humor.
Enthusiasts love how the show gives them a reason to step outside their comfort zone. People who can’t dance or sing can go to the theater and feel free to do as they please.
“I have met some of the most amazingly talented, most beautiful people at ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show,’” die-hard fan Ryan Thompson said.
Of course, this show isn’t for everyone. Each year, a few people walk out of the theater because they didn’t know what to expect. Not only do fans dress-up to mimic their favorite character, but they often participate in song, dance, tag lines and make-out sessions.
Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in Ogden presents the annual comedy musical on Oct. 27 & 28 at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7 p.m. All tickets include a prop bag, and costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through Smithstix, by phone at 801-689-8700 or at the box office Monday through Friday from 2–6 p.m.
Get a sneak peek at the official “Rocky Horror Picture Show” fan site at http://www.rockyhorror.com/participation/.