I've been a member of The Rocky Horror Picture Show fan club since 1988. I was eight years old when I found the VHS at a video store in Paradise, California, with those big, inviting lips beckoning me to take them home and discover what weird and possibly sensuous pleasures they had to share. All of the LGBT subtext flew over my head, but I knew that film was something special...even if I couldn't put my finger on why.
Richard O'Brian (who also plays Riff Raff in the film) conceived of Rocky Horror as a stage musical, and it played for awhile in Chelsea before moving to Los Angeles and New York City. In 1975, the film was released to a critical drubbing and ignored by audiences. But in 1976, starting at the Waverly Theatre in Greenwich Village, midnight screenings started where people threw things and made up their own dialogue while actors lip synced or sang along in front of the movie. A cult phenomenon was born.
Fast-forward to Saturday. I was feeling like an old man. I knew I had to go review Lonely Fish Productions' midnight screening of Rocky Horror, but I have been to so many terrible screenings over the years I couldn't muster up the enthusiasm needed to put on some pants and turn off "Hannibal."
But, since I am a consummate professional, I headed on down to 2nd Street (with pants). I was on the VIP list, which means I had a front row seat and I had a goodie bag filled with all the shit you either need to throw at the actors or wear to participate in the shenanigans.
The theater was coated in a hugely diverse group of Central Oregonians with ages ranging from teens to folks in their 60s. There were tons of costumes, with gorgeous men in lingerie, corsets, and beautiful dresses. I instantly smiled and felt at home.
From the opening moments where Columbia (Krystina Jermaczonak) comes shuffling out to "Science Fiction/Double Feature" (passing out chocolate and condoms to the audience) to the final, tragic downfall of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (an astounding Tommy Kuchulis), that smile never left my face.
Scott Schultz's assured and precise re-staging is an absolute blast from top to bottom with his flawless cast nailing some numbers so hard, I wouldn't have complained if they stopped the movie and just went for it themselves full throttle. Danielle Herron was beautifully in the moment as Janet, Dakota Foote underplays Brad wonderfully, and Jordan Hunt was having so much fun climbing around everything as Rocky it was hard to take my eyes off of him (especially when he sat on my lap/fondled me during "I'm Going Home"). Sydnee O'Loughlin and Clint Clark were having a blast as Magenta and Riff Raff and slink around stage like they were born for it.
Everyone performed with every ounce of their heart on display (and most of their bodies) and I ended up having one of the most decadent and delightful nights at the theater I have had in years. I went home with a shoe full of wine (don't ask) and searched for my old fan club card. I haven't found it yet, but I will. The eight-year old needs it.
Saturday, June 20 and 27. Midnight. Virgin Sacrifice at 11:45 pm
2nd Street Theater. 220 NE Lafayette St.