He’s Just a Sweet Tranvestite from Transsexual Transylvania

frank_photo.jpgTim Curry as Frank-N-Furter. Via rockymusic.org

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right, and you’ve completed the first two moves of the Time Warp from the campy cult favorite, the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The film is about a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed couple who wander into a castle where Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania, holds court. Well, he’s not so sweet, really, but you’ll hear more about that later.

On Halloween weekend, KMXT paired up with the Orpheum Theatre to set up two midnight showings of the 1975 musical. It features a muscled, man-made monster, aliens, and cannibalism, and of course, cheering, jeering fans.

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Before the movie begins, M.C. Anthony White steps on stage in a pink, skin-tight dress to explain the house rules and conduct the virgin ritual. That means audience member who have never seen the movie in theaters before receive a V on their forehead in flaming red lipstick and stand up on stage. Sometimes, what happens next is rude and crude, but for this ritual, the virgins line up and learn the Time Warp.

One of the interactive features involves doing obscenity-filled call-backs. Fans shout certain phrases at different points in the script. It doesn’t stop there.

When the two protagonists leave the church, audience members throw rice. When they walk through the rain towards the castle, someone runs along the aisles and squirts water over the audience. You better have been as resourceful as one of the characters and brought a newspaper along. Luckily, KMXT provided goodie bags with many of these items – including the newspaper.

And I don’t know who brought the toast, but I did get hit by some when Frank-n-furter proposes a toast during one scene.

Frank is the movie’s antihero, a scientist who used a section of his ex-lover’s brain to create a slave to serve his wicked whims. And although Frank has none-too-honorable intentions towards his dumb, blonde Atlas, Frank-N-Furter’s monster can’t help but love his creator in the end.

Actor Tim Curry steals the show as the corseted, high-heel wearing character, one of his most famous roles.

After the movie, some virgins say they are pleasantly surprised by the audience’s enthusiastic response and the overall experience. If the two protagonists’ experiences at Frank’s castle leave them a little shell-shocked, some of that effect rubs off on the audience. Rocky Horror is as bizarre as it is funny and as bad as it is good. Which is what makes stumbling out of the movie theater at two-o’clock in the morning so worth it.

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