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April 25th, 2011

gfish: (Default)
Monday, April 25th, 2011 12:13 pm
At the con this weekend I went to the Rocky Horror screening Friday night, after finding the room parties a bit lackluster. It was fun -- more RHPS casts need to include a Drow, or have Frank killing Eddie with a lightsaber. I almost never go anymore, but it will always hold a soft spot in my heart, so it's nice to have a reason to attend a screening every few years.

The stage show was chaotic and not particularly well done, and the audience was pretty much just incoherent. Being at a con this is to be expected. But it's always striking to me how standard that is even at the handful of normal productions I've attended over the last decade or so. The cast might have a few ratty costumes and basic props, but nothing more. And the audience is pretty much just screaming random things the entire time, only uniting for the most well known and standardized of callbacks. There is a certain enjoyable energy to it, but eventually it just becomes deafening.

Maybe I'm spoiled, though. My first real exposures were with the Absolute Pleasure productions at the Magic Lantern in Spokane. All through my later teen years they did RHPS twice a week, Fridays and Saturdays. (I later found out that the MC, Doctor Midnight, was actually the film critic of the local newspaper.) They had some really great costumes and props, including a cellophane-wrapped pommel horse and full sonic oscillator control wall. It was a smaller theater, and most everyone there was a regular. The audience participation wasn't exactly in unison, but there was a general agreement about the lines, with a lot more call and response between different groups. I have no idea how common that level of production ever was, but everyone I've mentioned it to has been surprised.

I'd be shocked to see anything like that now. Who the hell is going to go twice a week these days? Most places only do it monthly, if that. I'm just glad it still happens at all. It's a weird and unlikely and often misguided bit of pop culture than deserves to be preserved in some form, even if just as a fossil to remind us of the rocky (ha) path it took to get where we are now. I sure would like to attend a really well orchestrated production again someday, though.