Themes, trickery and anything festive are a few of my favorite things. That makes Halloween season, for me, the most wonderful time of the year. Halloween is just one fine day, but it’s celebrated for practically a whole month. This gives folks the opportunity to masquerade and be someone else over and over for a short, but fun-filled time of the year.
This year, my costumes include Cruella de Vil, Frieda Kahlo and a sports fan. At one party I just wore a Mardi Gras-style mask. Getting creative with costumes is an art in itself. I can express my inner desire to be an eccentric Mexican painter, play into the Cardinals craze with no knowledge of the sport and ironically disguise my vegan self as a fabulously dressed Dalmatian hunter. Some costumes are culturally relevant — Miley Cyrus, with or without the infamous wrecking ball, are bound to be a hit this year — while other costumes are just cultish.
The cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show provides costumes that are redone year after year. Since 1975 the movie has been shown in theaters every year during the Halloween season, and dressing the part is one of the best things about catching a show. Locally, you can “do the time warp again” at the Tivoli Theater in the Delmar Loop.
“What is this Rocky Horror?” you might ask. Great question! It’s only one of the most bizarre, exciting, confusing events you could ever attend. Sure, you could rent the flick and watch it at home, but the best part of this movie is watching it with a room full of strangers, water guns, and plenty of confetti. Yes, sir, crowd participation! At many showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, including the Tivoli, there is a live cast acting out the movie as it plays on the screen, and there are chances for the audience to join the action, as well.
Not only do you as the viewer have the opportunity dress up, but you can take on a whole persona for the show. You could be Brad, the nerdy “a**hole”; Janet, Brad’s fiancé, who starts the movie with an innocent twinkle in her eye but is later called (by the audience) a not-so-nice name; or you could be Dr. Frank-N-Furter, just a “sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania”.
Rocky Horror fanatics take this stuff seriously. If you’ve never been to a showing, you’re considered a virgin; there’s nothing like the first time. The key is not to over-prepare. Sure enough you’ll be back, and in due time you’ll pick up on your role as an audience member. Until then, take this opportunity to be shocked by the raunchy oddities the film has to offer. Just learn enough to keep up.
Most importantly, be sure to dress up! Choose a character and commit. It’s crucial to go all out. Most showings provide prop bags for purchase, so you have all the right things to throw in the air or at the screen. Just follow the crowd for timing. You might also want to learn a few of the lines to yell out. Here are some of the basics for you:
What to wear:
Brad, “a hero” – thick rimmed glasses, a tan jacket, and a sweater over a collared shirt, or a blue bath robe.
Janet, “a heroine” – a light pink dress and a white sweater, or a white bra and slip.
Dr. Frank-N-Furter,“a mad scientist”- a black curly wig, black sequined corset, and a black cape.
Rocky, “a creation” - blonde wig and gold shorts.
Columbia, “a groupie” – a gold sequined jacket and top hat.
What to say:
Creativity is encouraged, so if you’re itching to yell out something witty, don’t be shy. There are some go-to lines, used widely across showings. They’re typically in response to something a character says or does. Most of them are too risqué to publish, but you’ll catch on.
What to do:
- Throw rice during the opening wedding scene.
- Cover your head with a newspaper, like Janet does when she and Brad are caught in a storm.
- Make it rain in the theater with a squirt gun during the same scene.
- During the song “Over at the Frankenstein Place”, hold a light (candle, flashlight, etc.).
- Snap your rubber gloves in sync with Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
- Throw confetti along with the Transylvanians during the “Charles Atlas Song.”
Check out Rocky Horror this weekend at the Tivoli’s midnight showings. There are only two nights to catch the Halloween craze, so get a group together to see what Rocky Horror is all about on Friday or Saturday night. Tickets are $8.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to dress up and get weird!