The bizarre cult film “Rocky Horror Picture Show” is headed to Dover, accompanied by a shadow cast Oct. 29.
Halloween is right around the corner and you know what that means? It’s prime time for the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Fans of the bizarre cult film will get to goof around with a free prop bag that includes toilet paper, toast, noisemakers and more during an interactive screening with theater troupe Formal Dress Optional Delaware.
The show, following a young couple who find themselves in a castle full of weirdos, returns to the Schwartz Center for the Arts on Oct. 29.
FDOD’s shadow cast performed at the historic theater last year to a rambunctious crowd.
“It’s traditionally done during Halloween,” Schwartz theater manager Don Lonski explained. “It’s a cult film that’s been done all over the world.
“They do it in London and have a big following there. Formal Dress Optional Delaware is the closest thing to us that’s a professional group that does the shadow casting. It was such a success last year.”
Shadow casts are one of the key elements in the show.
“We shadow what’s happening on the screen,” said FDOD casting manager Shawn Hall. “We try to mirror what’s happening. Also, we bring more of a show to it. Before it starts, we have an emcee.”
FDOD in particular likes to keep each show fresh by reshuffling the cast with different roles. Hall said the roles for the Oct. 29 show haven’t been finalized.
Another big part of the show is the audience. They’re known to yell at the screen and toss toilet paper and pieces of toast during key scenes.
Film is ‘more mainstream’
When “Rocky Horror” debuted in 1975, the film was considered taboo because it highlighted crossdressing and homosexuality.
Over the years, however, the LGBT community has gained acceptance and adopted the film as a symbol of pride.
“The older ‘Rocky’ gets the more the general public has started to realize the ideals ‘Rocky’ was trying to express are becoming more mainstream,” Hall said. “Back in the 1970s it was shocking to see Tim Curry in high heels and fishnets. These days the world has become much more accepting.”
Ari Tress, a fellow Formal Dress cast manager, was introduced to “Rocky Horror” around the age of 5 when the theater troupe performed weekly at Newark Cinema Center 3. The movie house was the group’s former headquarters until Newark Cinema got evicted in 2015, leaving them without a place to call home.
“The thing that got me into ‘Rocky Horror’ is my mother couldn’t find a babysitter, so she took me every week,” the 28-year-old Tress said. “We just went as audience members and had a great time.”
At a young age the film taught her it was okay to accept people with differences.
“It shaped the way I see other people,” said Tress, who’s been with FDOD since 2007. “It made me very open to the fact everybody’s different. That’s the kind of mindset people have in the ‘Rocky’ community.”
Calling all ‘virgins’
The resurgence of “Rocky Horror” will see the debut of a FOX television special Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. The cast features Victoria Justice, Laverne Cox and Adam Lambert.
Lonski has attributed society’s acceptance of “Rocky Horror” to the reason newcomers or “virgins” are expressing more interest in it.
“There are going to be a lot of ‘Rocky Horror’ virgins” at the Oct. 29 show, he said. “Audience attendance for these events all over the world has increased and people who wouldn’t have gone to these events 20 years ago are attending them now.”