Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Blast from the Past

Last night we joined our friends Maryann and Dee for a jaunt to The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Palace theater (and first stopped by the Pump Station -- yum!). I don't know how many years it has been since I last saw it -- hate to count 'em. It may have been back at the NuArt in L.A. (which would make it a very long time indeed -- watching it on video in CT doesn't count [I still love that John Waters "No Smoking"reel!]).

It's still a hoot. They played a contemporary trailer, a trailer for the Star Trek arcade game (wow), another for 2001 (an upcoming film in the Certified Angus Beef movie series) and even a Warner Bros. cartoon! And I only saw one of my students (who said, "Hello, Dr. Laity" as she ducked away).

It all comes back -- the lines to shout, the things to throw (though we hadn't armed ourselves), and admittedly the timing was a bit off once in a while. Gene knew more fill-in lines than I did and I heard a lot of people guffawing as he shouted them out.

Not everyone enjoyed the film: about fifteen minutes in, a group of half a dozen rather elderly folks got up and left. At first we thought it was going to be a performance, but no. They were just leaving. What did they think it was? Just a scary film?

It's really quite an amazing phenomenon. I still remember the elation I felt after Emfinger took me to my first viewing. When I went to England on my first visit after freshman year, I made sure that one of the plays I saw was The Rocky Horror Picture Show, even though it was not quite the same thing on stage. Last night all I could think of was a little Eddie Izzard watching the film and saying, "yes, I can."

Don't dream it, be it.


CL said...

Man, I remember the first big showing I ever saw of Rocky Horror...it was at the Exeter St. Theater in Boston when I was 19. My date took me and there was a costume contest. I won 2nd place as a non-discript transvestite! Could have been the posing, posturing and camping I was doing on stage (I was a ham even then). My date was actually embarrassed. The fool...

C. Margery Kempe said...

Clearly he was not worthy!

Crispinus said...

Our Eugene was the hands-down, undisputed Master of the Revels of the RHPS when it played at Southgate Mall -- a suburban alternative to the Oriental Theater downtown.

First, there was his preparation. Dude had the the soundtrack, the audience participation album, and (I believe) a bootleg of the film itself. That's a high bar from the get-go.

No only that, Dawg would invent lines to answer all the standard lines -- and, infuriatingly, he would mix it up every week, so that no one could bogart his material. And if his answers did start to enter the canon, he would invent lines to answer those.

He was, in short, a one-man Floor Show, a Wild and Untamed Thing.

Gene, I salute you for coercing me into the Oriental in the first place -- and for making me sick with anxiety about what happens to RHPS Virgins. (Q: "Dude, what are they gonna do to me?" A: "Nah-uh. Can't tell you.")

Just don't get him going on the subject of Scott the Usher....

C. Margery Kempe said...

I got to see some of that in action Monday night; people were hooting (actually hooting) behind us at some of the things my Master of the Revels was shouting.

Of course, you've never seen his dueling apes with Master Bilokur... yet!

I must hear more of Scott the Usher: worthy opponent or fly-in-the-ointment?