Those who wondered if three “Rocky Horror Picture Show” events in Waco last October might have been overkill, fear not: “Rocky’s” heart still beats and maybe louder this time.
The cult craziness of “RHPS” returns this weekend with the Waco Warp’s shadowcast production in a new space and even bigger. The Waco Civic Theatre’s shadowcast returns to the Waco Hippodrome later this month, also with more in store. Just because the costuming that generally accompanies screenings and shadowcasts of the 1975 cult midnight movie overlaps with pre-Halloween costuming, however, doesn’t mean “RHPS” events should be confined to October, said Waco Warp founder and director Melissa Green.
She sees room to grow “RHPS” shadowcasts — movie screenings mirrored by live, outfitted performances on stage — throughout the year and in Waco. “Waco really loves ‘Rocky Horror’ — more than we thought,” she said.
The 1975 movie, adapted from the 1973 stage musical, spoofs sci-fi B movies with innocents Brad Majors and Janet Weiss stumbling one rainy night into a bizarre encounter with mad, cross-dressing scientist Frank-N-Furter, his boy toy creation Rocky, a pelvis-thrusting Time Warp dance and general zaniness.
Years of midnight screenings spawned a cult following, however, complete with often bawdy audience talk-backs to the screen, props waved or thrown on cue and general costumed naughtiness. And shadowcast companies dotting the globe.
Green, who started a shadowcast company four years ago in Abilene, created the Waco Warp company last year to do a “RHPS” shadowcast at downtown Waco’s Creative Art Studio and Theater, since closed. The turnout for that show led to a repeat in March at the Warp’s new west Waco space, Brazos Theatre, and momentum continues to grow.
The March performance led to connections with similiar “RHPS” fan groups in Dallas and Austin, some of whom provided new cast and audience members. The shadowcast that returns for performances Friday and Saturday night will feature a larger cast of 17, more costuming and a main stage with side stage to expand the action. “It’s a more immersive environment,” Green said.
A costume contest and a now-traditional pre-”RHPS” introduction will precede each performance at 9 p.m. Those attending also can buy $3 prop bags filled with all the items needed for audience participation. Those wanting to bring their own, however, need to leave the food (rice, hot dogs, etc.) at home, Green said.