'Rocky Horror' rocks (Sha-la-la-la, that ain't no crime)
Darn that Kristy Dorsey! Now that's she's written a fantastic story for Daybreak about Groton Regional Theater's upcoming production of "The Rocky Horror Show" I've got "Rose Tint My World" totally stuck in my head. (My favorite part is Columbia's verse.)
Not that I mind. Ever since I first saw the film version starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick, I've been intrigued and a fan ever since. Granted, I first saw it at age 11 at a girlfriend's sleepover (my mom would have been very unamused), and much of the dialogue and innuendo was lost on me. Several viewings later —and a marriage to a man who's attended the live show many, many times with toast in hand. His mom was very amused. — my affection for this weird, weird tale remains strong.
I won't lie: I have my favorite songs from the movie stashed in my iPod. Sometimes, a gal's gotta rock out like any good unconventional conventionist. It is tough to do a proper Time Warp whilst driving a car, though...
So, in honor of GRT's production (opening Friday at the Groton Senior Center), I give you 5 reasons why I heart the "Rocky Horror" universe. Got your own? Write 'em in the comments.
1. Everything Tim Curry says and does as Dr. Frank N. Furter. First, I'm fairly certain most dudes can't pull off a corset, fishnets and pearls and still seem, well, dude-ish. Beyond that, I'll have to narrow it down to two particularly great parts: 1. His grand entrance and first song "Sweet Transvestite" and 2. His remark, clad in a most refined English accent, to the newly clothes-less Brad and Janet: "What charming underclothes you both have."
OK, one more: the scene over dinner (read: Eddie) when Frank is wielding an electric knife and the crew sings the most cheerless version ever of "Happy Birthday" to Rocky.
2. Greatest use of Meatloaf ever. I truly could take or leave Meatloaf. Despite my husband's numerous efforts to illustrate the greatness of "Bat Out of Hell," I'm not going to toss it on the player anytime soon. It's a little too overwrought for me. He's got great pipes, but songs about wolves and hell and failed relationships aren't my usual go-to material.
BUT, Meatloaf as Eddie in the film version of Rocky Horror Picture Show is genius. They bust him out for a short and sweet number hailing the joys of rock and roll music and then he's gone (only to return as dinner, but...). His jangling voice and that song/sentiment are a match made in cinema heaven, and I look forward to it every time we watch the movie.
Meatloaf rambles on here about the whole RHPS culture.
3. The music. So many musicals sound like folks singing out their daily mundanities. "I shopped for some milk...and then I walked down the block, then up the stairs...and then I saw youuuuuuu." See? I just wrote a musical. I'll call it "Shopping Bag Blues."
RHPS, however, rocks in weird, wonderful ways ("Sha la la la / That ain't no crime!"). The songs are gritty and electric, chock full of fabulous lyrics. Even the fairly saccharine "Dammit Janet" offers some edge with its non-saccharine title.
4. The cult following: The Rocky Horror notion is nearly 40 years old. The stage play debuted in 1973, and the film in 1975, but folks show no sign of hanging up their fishnets and boas anytime soon, as live screenings and stage shows continue across the country. Locally, Mohegan Sun has screened the movie for the past few Halloweens. I was there, and the huge line of people in costume (not me, and I felt silly sans glitter etc.) demonstrated to me a firm and faithful following right here at home.
5. A well of great Halloween costume ideas: My husband and I have been threatening to be Brad and Janet for a few years now, but I'm not super game to run around in a lab-coat and charming underclothes, and to find just the right stuffy dork-wear at Goodwill for the wedding scene outfits seems to me like way too much work. Meanwhile the husband has put the kibosh on the corset get-ups in the floor show scenes, so that's out. Maybe it's got to be Magenta and Riff-Raff. They're funnier, more cool, and she feels more like a kindred spirit anyway.
BONUS REASON: Baby Barry and Susan: How adorable is Barry Bostwick in the film version of Rocky Horror? I'll take his beige-jacketed, bespectacled prep over his silver fox mayor in "Spin City" any day!
As for Susan Sarandon, we all learn that she was fabulous from the onset, and a trooper. Not an easy role to take on: singing, dancing, running around in underwear, jumping in a pool in tight clothes. Come on!
Plus, I once heard on some RHPS documentary that Sarandon was dreadfully ill with a cold during most of the filming. Actress Patricia Quinn (Magenta) shared that story with no indication of sympathy for her fellow actress and seemed to enjoy telling the tale — and it was fabulous. See? Love her!
Hmm, maybe I do need to start shopping for a Magenta Halloween outfit...
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