Few movies have the honor of being considered cult classics, and even fewer live productions hold the same title. One that comes to mind, with a following likely larger and more entertaining than “Frankenstein” and “Dracula,” is none other than “The Rocky Horror Show.”
“The Rocky Horror Show” is an original musical by Richard O’Brien that flopped in London when it premiered in June 1973, and was later revived as the infamous movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in 1975 starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick.
After the movie both obtained and retained a massive fan-base, the play steadily grew in popularity until Broadway revived it entirely in 2001. Since then, the original musical is as well known and loved as the movie that saved it.
“The Rocky Horror Show” is a Halloween tradition in Anchorage, and for the past few years, that tradition has been hosted at Mad Myrna’s, Anchorage’s only gay cabaret nightclub and bar.
Jonathan Minton, a senior theatre major at UAA, directed the production last year and is back to direct it again this year as well.
Minton’s version of the musical this time around varies from last year’s, which, according to Rj Haywood-Lozano, the assistant director and narrator of the production, keeps the actors on their toes.
“Last year he really wanted to do an eighties glam rock/punk theme. He was paying homage t the era when “Rocky Horror’ became a cult classic,” he said, “This year, to put a different spin on it, he’s taking it back to the time period when it was actually set, so it’s really a return to Hollywood glamour this year.”
“There’s a lot of black and white monochromatic colors, so at one point it sort of becomes like a black and white film; Frank-N-Furter is the first real splash of color we see in it,” Minton said.
For anyone who hasn’t been to Mad Myrna’s for one of their many shows or events, the stage set up in the main ballroom is very small and not built to house an entire cast of performers and props. For a show as big as “Rocky Horror,” adjustments had to be made, and the modifications don’t seem to hinder the production in the least.
“Having some of the action happen amongst the audience or right next to the audience helps reinforce that whole give and take of the audience and the actors throughout the production,” said Minton
For those who have never been to a showing of either the play or the movie, the audience is as much a part of the production as the cast. Patrons are encouraged to wear movie related-costumes (fishnets, super high heels, corsets etc), bring props and shout out call-backs to the cast. For a detailed list of props, costume ideas and call-backs, visit the Official Rocky Horror Fan-Site at www.rockyhorror.com/participation.
“It’s funny, whenever we’ve done the show here at Myrna’s, you get both extremes; you get the very knowledgeable theater snobs that are going to see the ‘beautiful art of “Rocky Horror”,’ and that always just cracks us up,” Haywood said, “But at the same time, it’s a campy show in the gay bar. So, we love the people who dress up and know all the call-backs and throw all the stuff and have all the props with them when they come.”
Haywood also stated that the cast very much likes that the more educated theater crowd comes to the shows and enjoys the technical aspects and work of them; such as the lighting, dancing and choreography, singing and character development.
Whether you’re a “Sweet Transvestite” or just love to do the “Time Warp,” the “Rocky Horror Show” at Mad Myrna’s will be a fun romp into a cult classic that you shouldn’t miss.
“The Rocky Horror Show” will be showing at Mad Myrna’s from Friday, Oct. 29 through Saturday, Nov. 27. Friday showings are at 7 p.m. and Saturday Showings are at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets for all showings are $25, and can be purchased by calling Mad Myrna’s at (907) 276-9762.
Persons under the age of 21 may see “The Rocky Horror Show” if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and attend a 7 p.m. showing. ID is required.