Even though my tickets were waiting for me at the door, I showed up a little early because this show has general seating – first come, first served. Naturally, I wanted to make sure that I got a good seat. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about – there isn’t one bad seat in the house.
Richard O’Brien’s rendition of Rocky Horror tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of a mad transvestite scientist unveiling his new creation, a muscle man named Rocky Horror.
As I waited in line I was unsure about what I was getting myself into. You might think that an intelligent and worldly lux like myself would have had some exposure to Rocky Horror sometime in my 29 years. But – nope! You can imagine my suspicion and intrigue when some of the patrons showed up dressed in drag.
Anticipation mounted (with a little side of confusion) as people crowded around a small door to the side of the bar. Hosts and servers were zipping by us as we stood smack in the middle of tables waiting for this small door to open and I felt a little sorry for the diners but they didn’t seem to mind – most were curious about what all the commotion was about.
Finally the door opened and one of the cast was there to take payment, issue tickets and hand out programs before we made our way upstairs. The 2nd floor of Corks is small and intimate and strategically made to put the audience in the middle of the action – literally! The room was setup with a stage at the front, two columns of chairs and then more seating at the back in-front of the private Rocky Horror bar and Creekside Winery setup.
The amateur vibe was a little odd at first considering most of my live-theatre experiences have been at places like the old Pantages and Hummingbird theaters in Toronto and more recently at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse and Shaw Festival Theatre. The show was kicked off by the amazing Rocky house band – The Boris Karloff’s – and we were all encouraged to grab a drink from the bar before it closed until the first intermission. I’d like to say that I settled in, but Rocky Horror is not a show that anyone can really “settle” into — at least not in the same way you settle into a bottle of wine. It is more like settling into a Jägerbomb fishbowl at a lesbian bachelorette party!
All in all, there could not have been more than 50 people at the show – including the bartenders. We were welcomed by a bunch of Rocky Horror Hosts and Hostesses dressed to kill in skin-tight leathers and scanty shorts. They were having fun and strutting around selling audience participation packages for $5 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of St. Catharines, Thorold and District.
The show started soon after and there were more than a few moments within the first 10 minutes where my jaw hit the ground. I know now that these moments are true measure of Rocky Horror! The costumes (or lack of) are fantastic and leave just enough (and sometimes not enough) to the imagination. And, I LOVED participating. It did not take long for me to get right into yelling “SLUT!” and “ASSHOLE!”, tossing confetti, cracking glow-sticks, dancing, snapping rubber gloves and hurling insults at the narrator. I must admit, I surprised myself!
And, the participation was certainly not one-sided. The cast took every opportunity to offer a lap-dance, ass-shake and lude gesture to the closest audience member. Had my camera not been around my neck for most of the show I might have fell victim more often. Compared to others I got away with only having to apply deodorant to Usher Hatchett’s arm-pits during intermission (I guess you had to be there). And, the next time I find myself at a Rocky Horror show I will be sure to embrace the Rocky fan in me by wearing fishnets, my red and black stilettos and my busty little black dress.
If only I knew the songs and could have belted them out like some of the other Rocky vets. Although the singing was great – the singing star of the evening was Rob Burke in his role as Riff Raff. I was intrigued to learn that Rob also co-produced the show with Dina Mavridis who also doubled as Magenta. They are a pair in more than just production! Another honourable mention goes from me to actress Guen Wheeler-Wing who played Columbia and is the subject of my favourite picture of the night – the feature pic of this article in fact!
Now, having just had my Rocky Horror cherry popped, I can hardly claim to be a long-time Rocky Horror fan. But, if I were a die-hard Rocky Horror fan I wonder what would I have thought of this show? Was there too much skin? Too little? Did Rocky have enough muscles? Was Janet too slutty? Was it raunchie enough? Was it ROCKY enough? To these questions my answer is “I do not know”. But, what I do know is this …
Rocky Horror NOTL is a rockin’ night full of energy, grabbing, groping and all other things naughty. It is the most fun I have ever had with a mad-scientist Transylvanian transvestite in all my years here in Niagara!
The show has been extended until the end of September and you can get more information and tickets online at the Something Something Rocky Horror NOTL website.