Thursday, November 04, 2004


Let There Be Lips...Again!

Sunday night, October 31, 2004. Halloween. My return to the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The verdict: one HELL of a night.

My apologies for not reporting in before, but, well, monday I spent recovering. Then tuesday I was glued to CNN all day, hoping to be watching when the first shots were fired. Ditto wednesday, not counting sleeping off my tuesday hangover. So now, four days after the show, I think I'm finally ready to report.

How the hell did I keep track of all my props back in the day? As Eddie, you've got the t-shirt, jeans, boots, jacket, scarf, slingshot, chain for the belt, and saxamaphone. As Dr. Scott there's the wheelchair, shirt, tie, jacket, garter, fishnets, blanket, and note from Eddie. I honestly can't remember how I kept track of it all. Did I used to bring a suitcase? And how did I fit it all into my old Honda Civic? I really want to know all this, because the van, which can hold a lot, was full-ass of my stuff.

We finally did get a Riff-Raff, on the friday before the show. Fortunately, she was fantastic--she actually did the play once, which is more than even I can say. And with our former criminologist playing Rocky, we finally had a full cast. Well, minus the crim, but you know what I mean.

Though Jessi did the preshow, I got recruited to read the rules in character as Eddie, partly because I had the patter down from the old days, and partly because she thought it might sound more authoritative coming from the big, intimidating leather biker guy. After last year, I was expecting lots of anarchy and catcalls from the audience, but this was a surprisingly good bunch--still mostly virgins (we had to limit it to 50 or so actually on stage, so Shelemundo and her sister were spared), but encouragingly enthusiastic.

There were a few attempts at "real" audience participation, with a few scattered individuals or groups shouting lines more or less in time with the movie, but between the size of the venue and the loudness of the movie, getting any sort of audience unity was impossible. And most of them were the type who just scream "boring" over and over again whenever the crim is on, so it's probably just as well that we didn't have one.

I'll tell you what the audience did well, though; they made us performers feel like gods.

The guys were hooting and hollering during Jessi's Trixie dance during "Science Fiction Double Feature." They all got up and did the Time Warp, even Shelvana and her sister. And I thought the place was gonna collapse when Frank entered.

And me? *heh* Screaming girls, all along the front of the stage, all during "Hot Patootie." They grabbed at my legs during the saxophone solo. And they chased me around when I was riding my motorcycle (actually an electric scooter) during the last chorus. And they kept screaming long after I left the stage.

I know I'm not actually a rock star, and never will be, and will never be chased, Hard Days Night-style through the streets by moist teenage girls, but man, just for a few minutes, what a feeling.

I was continually impressed by my castmates. Here we were, in a space about three times as big as where we rehearsed, with all but a few of them doing it for the first time, and they held their own as well as some people who were veterans when I was new. I was especially impressed by Nicky and Alexina, our twin Magentas.

The one advantage of the earlier showtime was that, when we went out for the traditional post-show snacks, we could actually get some drinks. Then, just to keep it totally traditional, I drove a bunch of people home, before finally crashing at about 2 in the morning.

So, yeah. One HELL of a night.

Can't wait for next year.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

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