Friday, May 07, 2004


Let There Be Lips

Part 3: Rose Tint My World

That first night at Lincoln Plaza I got recruited to play—once again—Dr. Scott. It was a ragtag affair at the time, with some people in costume and some not, some experienced, some not. Though the one guy with both a costume and experience was John.

As we got to be friends, I was fond of saying that John should have been my older brother. We shared a lot of the same interests in comics, movies, and music, but John, five years older than me, seemed so much more knowledgeable and worldly. John played Brad, and did the preshow virgin ceremony. He not only had Brad’s tuxedo, but a full floor-show costume—it turned out he had retired from the Neptune cast a year before I ever started going. John managed a boarding home (a mental care facility) that his father owned, and which was vacant during the holidays, giving us an appropriately creepy place to hang out.

Kathy and John: What charming underclothes

If John was like an older brother, then Lenny would have been the younger brother. Though a newcomer—he had seen it fewer times than I had—Lenny threw himself into playing Riff Raff with a youthful glee. He was the one who drafted me as Dr. Scott, and he brought in other cast members as well, most notably Leah.

Leah. The entire cast’s little sister, and my first (though far from the last) hardcore Rocky Horror crush. She showed up that first night already wearing Magenta’s costume ensuring that she could be anencephalic and would still have my interest. She was bright and giggly and we talked for a good hour or so before the show. I was already putting out feelers, seeing if she was involved with Lenny, or with someone else, or if I had a chance. It wasn’t until I was driving home that night that I found out she was fourteen. Not the last time THAT would happen either.

But at least I found out before I could embarrass myself too badly. Chris wasn’t so lucky.

Chris and Leah: I just fucked my sister, come on smell my finger

And now, to stretch the analogy to the breaking point: if John was like my older brother, and Lenny my younger, then Chris (and most of you reading this know Chris, so you know this is true) was and is my twin. Chris switched off the part of Riff Raff with Lenny, meaning a lot of face-time with Leah. He got as far as making plans to “get together sometime” with her, and it wasn’t until he called her to actually do something that her mom blindsided him with the old, “what are your intentions toward my daughter,” trick. She waited while he hemmed and hawed something about enjoying her company, or one of those things you say to a potential date’s mother to placate her, THEN she hit him with how old Leah was.

After a brief period as Frank N. Furter, I settled in as Eddie and Dr. Scott. Though we weren’t as “professional” as, say, the Neptune cast (where cast members were forbidden from shouting AP lines), we had a blast, and were developing quite a little following. Some people we lost early, like Billy, the budding Actor who tried to include Rocky on his resume, but others came early and stuck around for a long time, like Dena and Danetta, the two incredibly hot girls we were ALL crushing on.

We quickly formed a tight-knit circle of friends, and spent New Years Eve 1991 at John’s boarding home. There were gradual changes to the cast, including Dena joining up as Columbia, and Danetta as Frank, which pleased all the boys to no end. We were having a great time, and doing some fun shows, right up until we got kicked out by the theater management.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

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