It’s time to do “The Time Warp” again. When Halloween season comes, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” gets resurrected. This year’s party is at Patchogue Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 27 where actor Barry Bostwick will join forces with the Home of Happiness shadowcast.
“We are the grandfather of all cult movies,” says Bostwick, who played Brad Majors in the film. “It seems to have an impact on every new generation because of its themes of loss of innocence, weirdos taking over the world and sexual freedom. It never gets old.”
When this rock-n-roll musical, centered on a couple that gets trapped in a castle with Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his cast of creeps, was first released in the fall of 1975 — it bombed. However, 20th Century Fox rereleased the film in the spring of 1976 for midnight showings and a cult fan base was born.
“People started dressing up and performing the numbers in front of the screen, which was a whole other form of entertainment,” says Bostwick. “The theaters were getting all these repeat customers every week. It became an underground phenomenon that started creating some real energy.”
Such performances — which started at the Waverly Theater in Manhattan-- were put on by a shadowcast and the tradition spread across the country.
“It’s a lot more circus than it is theater,” says Larry Viezel, head of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Fan Club who will emcee the Patchogue event. “The idea was to bring the movie to life by bridging the gap between the film and the audience.”
HOW THE EVENT WORKS
Upon entering the theater, fans can check out a memorabilia display of original items from the film such as Little Nell’s corset, Peter Hinwood’s floor show boa, behind-the-scenes photos and artists contracts. “Rocky Horror” merchandise will be for sale as well as prop bags ($5) for those who want to be interactive.
“Each prop in the bag is used at a different part in the film,” says Viezel. “There’s rice to throw during the wedding scene, water guns to make it rain inside and newspaper to cover your head, toast to toss when Frank raises his glass and says, ‘Toast!’ and more. It’s all part of the fun.”
There is a costume contest for audience members who dress up like “Rocky Horror” characters as well as a surprise for viewers who have never seen the film before.
“We hold a little rite of passage ceremony initiating them into ‘Rocky Horror’ fandom,” says Viezel.
After the traditional “R-O-C-K-Y” chant, the film begins and antics ensue.
“What the shadowcast does is a miracle. They get every turn, grimace and gesture down from each film character,” says Bostwick. “They become the focus of the evening. It’s just a big party!”
BONDING WITH BOSTWICK
At the end of the night, Bostwick will address the crowd and hold a Q&A session moderated by Viezel.
“I’m like Uncle Barry to them,” says Bostwick. “I make fun of the crowd and they make fun of me. I talk about what the movie has meant to me and the fans. Sometimes I’ll even drop into the character of Brad Majors. It’s all very spontaneous.”
Viezel adds, “Barry really gets the fandom and has totally embraced it.”
Bostwick admires the shadowcast members and is moved by their passion.
“Some of these people in the shadowcasts were really lost and found an inner compass because of their experience with the movie,” says Bostwick. “They are like families who commit themselves to their craft.”
“THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW” SPECTACULAR
WHEN/WHERE 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27 at Patchogue Theatre, 71 East Main Street
INFO 631-207-1313, patchoguetheatre.org