Arts & Entertainment

The Rocky Horror Picture Show experience

Most people have heard the title “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” — some people are super into it, dressing up as the characters and knowing all the lines to the show,  and others not so much. This is probably because the majority of the show is an outlandish musical about sex. 

The “Rocky Horror Picture Show” has been used in many TV shows, such as “Glee,” which dedicated a whole episode to it, or when Fox did the live version of the show, starring Laverne Cox as the quirky evil mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Either way, the show has been famous in the media for ages. In the growing town of Tacoma, the city gives two different experiences for fans of the cult-classic, as well as those who might just want to experience the fun.  

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is about a newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet. The two are on a drive when their car “breaks down” —when in reality, they just had a flat tire.  As a result, they find themselves at the manor of Dr. Frank N. Furter — a Transvestite, committed to making his own creations. Throughout the show, audiences watch the sexual tension grow between all the characters. With the live performance of “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” viewers do not act how they would normally when seeing a movie or play — given that there is a large emphasis on audience participation. The audience dresses up as the characters, which means many people wearing fishnet stockings with short dresses, men wearing dresses, and many feather boas. 

The show also has props that are thrown throughout the film at certain times of the movie, such as rice during the wedding scene, toast during proposed a ‘toast’ at dinner, playing cards during the song “I’m Going Home,” a light source during the song, “There’s a Light,” and a newspaper to cover your head during the rain scene. Another unusual thing that happens during the show is that audience members are talking throughout the entire film that coincide with what the characters are saying. This show is quite an experience, but a fun one.

In Tacoma, there are two places that have the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” is playing at. The Tacoma Musical Playhouse had a two week showing at the end of October, and The Blue Mouse Theater annually has showings twice a month. These two places show the same show, but have very different experiences.

At the Tacoma Musical Playhouse, it is a little more formal affair, but plenty of people still dressed up in their “Rocky Horror” costumes. Ticket holders received the props bag, which included: a small water gun, news paper, glow sticks, and playing cards which they used to interact with the actors throughout the musical. People in the audience did the typical yelling out that happens throughout the show, and the actors on stage did not break character, even when people yelled things that were very surprising and funny. 

At the Blue Mouse, the show has been playing for years, and it is executed differently compared to what happened at the Playhouse. People still come in costume, but the theater plays the movie on screen while actors act out the movie onstage. They do a pre-show where they do a Virgin Sacrifice — which are the people who have never seen the show — and the actors interact with the audience. The theater sells prop bags for $1 and it includes: rice, newspaper, bread, toilet paper which gives everyone the chance to use the props during the show. 

The audience at the Blue Mouse is made up of diehard fans, and were always yelling out movie lines throughout the show, which at times made it hard to hear the movie, but aduiences still knew what was going on. The actors throughout were sometimes a little bit behind the movie, but they weren’t there to be professional actors — they are there to bring the experience and humor, and did a great job at it.

If you want to see the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in a more professional environment, seeing it somewhere where they have other musicals like The Tacoma Musical Playhouse, or places in Seattle, would be a better place to go next October. If you want an upbeat experience and do not care about not being able to hear the movie at points and having people yell throughout, the Blue Mouse Theater where you want to go. The Blue Mouse does showings the 2nd and 4th Saturdays in the month — except in Nov. and Dec. where they are only doing one. The doors open at 10:45p.m., and the show starts at midnight, but try to get there early, because the line typically stretches around the block. It will be a late night, but it is worth being up late for the novelty experience. No matter which one you choose, you will still experience the show that is “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”