It's been 28 years since The Rocky Horror Picture Show first opened at the United Artist Westwood theater in 1975. The ensuing phenomena that was predicted by no one and that baffled everyone caught Hollywood by surprise. A movie that opened as a flop had turned into a cult classic. People started returning to see the movie over and over. Moreover, they were starting to dress up like the characters in the film and began acting out the scenes in front of the screen.
Matt Chandler who plays Dr. Frank-N-Furter for
Broadway Bound and Gagged
Today Rocky Horror persists in select markets throughout the country. One such market that has seen marked success is Phoenix, Arizona. They have had their trials and tribulations but they push on week after week, often seeing attendances in excess of 200 people.
Broadway Bound and Gagged's Pre-Show
It takes a very large commitment to join a Rocky troupe. Screenings are still done at midnight on Saturdays. Cast members arrive hours beforehand in order to apply makeup, get in costume, and prepare. Furthermore, additional rehearsals are done throughout the week.
"I enjoy performing, I enjoy the atmosphere. The movie is really like nothing else. It's silly, it's fun to be a part of. The audience reaction is always fun too," tells Rebecca MacCart who has been involved with Rocky Horror since 1999.
Brooklyn Feustel who plays Trixie for Broadway Bound and Gagged
"My mom was really into Rocky, she went when she was in college. She's the one that brought me for the very first time," tells Amy Pokhias who is only 22 and who now plays Magenta.
The Rocky Audience
"The freaks come out on Halloween and the freaks always come to Rocky Horror," tells Dawn Grigsby who has been Broadway Bound and Gagged's cast manager for the past 6 years.
The future of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is uncertain. No one predicted that this B-movie would still be screened 28 years after its original release. While the show no longer goes on in many parts of the country, large markets still show the film and will carry on on as long as there is demand. Support of your local Rocky Horror cast is important if the show is to have a continuing future.
June - Becca Levin who
Justin Reed and Becca MacCart
playing Brad and Janet
The AZ Rocky Twitter page is here.
All photographs by CT Thompson
Originally published in Acrimony Magazine Issue #3 October 2003