The Rocky Horror Show -- a review

The Rocky Horror Show -- a review

A Story by WildeWhore

an article I wrote for the school newspaper about a local production of "The Rocky Horror Show". So people may actually read it, I thought I'd post it here as well


You’re a virgin if you’ve never seen the Rocky Horror Show. I went to Dartmouth’s production at the Moore Theatre last Friday night with a family of fans, eager but entirely unprepared. The lights dimmed over the audience (flashing with bright boas and metallic suits), and piano chords swelled through the theater as the opening number began. Icy rays shot from a disco ball above as a diva in round hippie glasses, a black bob wig, and plaid schoolgirl uniform draped the microphone, licking the air ferociously as she sang… welcome to the show.

There are no inhibitions in the Rocky Horror Show " the cast crawled all over each other, all over the stage, and down into the audience. The costumes were all bondage " fishnets, boas, garter-belts with straining hooks " except for the two innocents (Brad and Janet, played perfectly by Jay Ben Markson and Talene Monahon), who were soon stripped to their white linen underwear. Their reactions to the weird inhabitants of the castle often parallel the shock and delight of any newcomer to the Rocky Horror Show. Once they are violated and their conventional “morals” flagrantly ignored, Brad and Janet become caught up in the absurd joy of the whole thing and end up freely performing along with everyone else. The greatest moment of the show (among many) was Brad stretched out onstage, one pale Ivy League leg sliding up through a feather boa: “What’s this? Let’s see… I feel sexy!”

During intermission, the “creatures of the night” prowled down into the crowd to dance with college girls in the audience shrieking with happiness (and if you’ve never heard of the Time Warp, “it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insay-ay-ay-ayne.”) One huge silver-haired boy in a frock coat and metallic-red platforms stood onstage, flicking a whip. He soon came down and straddled a girl in her seat, leaned her back and leered smiling into the row behind: “And how are we all doing tonight?”

I think everyone at the show was grateful for the knot of cult-followers who came to heckle, dance, and sing along with the cast. It was the most devoted and involved display of fandom I’ve ever seen or heard of. Heckling is the obligation of a true Rocky Horror fan, and there are guidelines " for instance, each time “Brad Majors” is said, you shout “A*****e!” as vehemently as possible. You are also supposed to throw things onstage at certain moments, which the Moore Theater sadly does not allow. There was an announcement intoned over loudspeakers before the show began: “This is not the Rocky Horror Picture Show. That’s a movie. So please, don’t throw things at us… but we’d love it if you’d dance with us.”

During intermission, older fans were talking about how they’ve been going to see the show (and doing the Time Warp) since before these Dartmouth actors were in diapers. The movie came out in the seventies, and used to be shown in theatres across the country at midnight " gradually, it grew into the cult monster that it is today. The audience at this performance was laced with these forever-fans, and their obvious delight fueled the show all the way through. During the Time Warp, people did indeed come up to dance with the fantasies parading around onstage. It became clear after a while that there’s no actor-onlooker barrier needed for the Rocky Horror Show to run " it is a transformative experience for everyone in the vicinity of its happening. As Dr. Frank-N-Furter says, “Don’t dream it, be it”.

Fishnets mean freedom. This is part of the code for fans as well. I saw purple ones, bright-red ones frothing with lace, rose-printed ones, basic black, flesh-colored, knee-highs and thigh-highs and full-length tights. Everyone was dressed to kill, but Dr. Frank-N-Furter (David Mavricos) was the most magnificent. A tall, strutting transvestite with huge fluttering eyes, evil-red lipsticked-lips in knee-high black leather platforms (picture these stomping across the stage, with a roaring chainsaw). In the show, he ends up making it with Brad and Janet, personifying the delicious downfall for both of them.

The show is sinister, voluptuous and fabulous, a campy rock-musical to bawdlerize science-fiction and horror movies. And as the director writes in that night’s program: “The Rocky Horror Show is, more than anything, a rock and roll show, and rock and roll is freedom. At Frank’s castle, anything goes, all answers are appropriate, and following your bliss is a requisite activity.” My evening captured this perfectly, and I am very grateful to have seen the show. Emerging from the theater into reality was a shock that left me speechless, but smiling with what I carried out with me.

© 2010 WildeWhore

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4 Reviews
Added on January 31, 2010
Last Updated on January 31, 2010
Tags: rocky, horror, review, dartmouth




I am 16 as of now... so, there's really not much of a biography to my life so far. I have my own opinions, always under influence of my favorite people (there are too many to list, ranging from emmine.. more..

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A Story by WildeWhore