The Daily Gamecock

'The Rocky Horror Show' at Trustus is worth the antici...pation

“The Rocky Horror Show” musical theatre production delves into all things spooky, sexual and sultry at the Trustus Theatre on Lady Street.

Richard O’Brien’s musical horror-comedy stage production “The Rocky Horror Show” and subsequent film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” directed by Jim Sharman, quickly gained a massive cult following in the early 1980s. It became an integral part of the “midnight movie” phenomenon, where audiences dressed in costume, shouted responses at the screen and sang along to musical numbers.

Rocky Horror veteran Amy Cleckler first saw the movie when she was 16 years old. Since then, she estimated she has seen the show over 30 times. 

"The music is wonderful, and it’s just the whole idea of actually being free and being yourself and breaking all the chains of society,” Checkler said.

The performance at Trustus featured a live band that included piano, saxophone and percussion instruments. The live instrumentals enhanced the show by providing a high energy and upbeat backdrop to performer’s vocals.

Walter Graham played the show’s main antagonist, Frank-N-Furter, an alien from a foreign planet known as Transylvania. Graham captured the audience’s attention with his sultry rendition of “Sweet Transvestite” and emotional performance of “I’m Going Home.”

Overall, the show was fun, dynamic and well-produced. However, due to time constraints, some scenes were shortened or cut altogether from the performance. This isn’t an issue for those who have seen the film or movie before, as the central plot points were still intact, but I wouldn’t recommend this production to individuals who are not familiar with the storyline. Because the plot is so already fast-paced, the omitted scenes sometimes caused the action to be scattered and hard to follow.

However, it is the multifaceted story line that makes the show so captivating. Madeleine Edenton, a junior at Spring Hill High School, attended the event dressed up as Janet Weiss, one of the female leads.

“The characters are complex and the plot is complex, and a little confusing and weird,” Edenton said, “but that’s what makes it so interesting and fun.”

The beauty of “The Rocky Horror Show” is that it revolves around audience participation. The playbill featured a helpful guide that explained some of the common callback responses. No outside props are allowed inside the theatre, but individuals could purchase pre-made prop bags at the door. At different points in the show, audience members could throw confetti, playing cards and other objects at the stage. 

“The Rocky Horror Show” openly explores themes of sex, sexuality and gender identity. It embraces everything weird and sensual and provides a safe and inclusive environment for those looking to discuss these subjects, or simply for those looking to have a fun and relaxing evening.

Kristi Cowan saw her first Rocky Horror live show in 2010, and has attended two other live performances since. She attended the show at Trustus dressed up as Columbia, her outfit complete with a golden tuxedo vest and colorful bedazzled shorts. She effectively summarized the appeal of “The Rocky Horror Show” in two sentences.

“It's so timeless because there’s nothing else like it,” Cowan said. “It’s the only thing that is just like itself.”