Theater students get ready to do the Time Warp again this weekend
Risqué musical theatre entertainment can be found in the production of "Rocky Horror Picture Show," put on by Central Michigan University theatre students this Halloween weekend.
For Owosso junior Kailey Grubb, it will be her first time taking part in the performance. She is playing Magenta, a housemaid for the mysterious Dr. Frank N. Furter.
“I’ve had a lot of friends in the past couple years that have done it and I’m getting to the point where it’s my junior year and I don’t want to leave here with any ‘what if’s,’” Grubb said. “I just thought, ‘You know what? It’s a little out of my comfort zone, but I’m going to try it.'”
This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Alpha Psi Omega fraternity will be putting on twice-nightly performances of the cult classic at the Broadway theater. Shows will be at 8 p.m. and midnight, and Thursday’s midnight performance will feature a gender-bent cast — women playing men's roles and men dressing in drag and cast in female roles.
For people in the audience for the first time this weekend — commonly referred to as 'Rocky Horror virgins' — Grubb might not be the only one out of her comfort zone.
“My favorite part is watching my friends come out to the show — especially if they’re Rocky virgins — not knowing what they’re getting involved in, and just having a blast,” said Dewitt senior Kaitlyn Riel, who will also be a part of the production.
For the gender-bent show, Riel will be playing Brad Majors, the straight-laced main character, as well as the role of Columbia, who is a groupie living in Dr. Franken Furter's mansion, on Friday at midnight.
Audience participation is also a big part of the Rocky experience—there are cues throughout the movie to toss certain items, such as rice for the wedding and toast when Dr. Frank N. Furter raises his glass and says, “A toast.” Prop bags will be available for purchase at the door for $1.
“The fact that everyone is there having fun, dressing ridiculously, throwing rice and toast and screaming callouts is hilarious," Riel said. "The fact that people experience it for the first time and love it and come back again is the best part."
The original film premiered in America at a Los Angeles Westwood Theater in 1975 and was initially deemed a failure. However, it gained popularity after a midnight showing at the Waverly Theater in 1976. It continues to be shown in theaters nationwide 40 years later.
Katrina Thennes, a senior from Garden, and head of the committee in charge of organizing the show, has been working on the production since September.
“There are people who come from all over to see the show,” Thennes said. “I’ve been told that we put on a really good, polished shadow cast."
Proceeds from Rocky Horror will go to the philanthropies supported by Alpha Psi Omega, including It Gets Better Project, which is a foundation that helps LGBTQ youth, and The Fourth Wall, a special needs theatre program in Midland.
“It’s nice to see that we get to create something that raises money that goes to something better,” Thennes said.
Tickets cost $10.50 and can be purchased at the door at the time of the show. Seating is limited.