Lyric Cinema delights ‘Rocky Horror’ show veterans and virgins alike

Jalen Winfrey

On Halloween night, people flocked to The Lyric Cinema to see a sold out Rocky Horror Picture Show, the live show and audience participation hybrid experience like no other.

Audience members along with cast members shout at the screen, dance, throw toilet paper, dress in lingerie, and sing vulgar extra lyrics to the movie’s songs. Rocky Horror is probably one of America’s oddest traditions, providing a space for weirdness to be full front.


“I think the best part of Rocky Horror is the fact that everybody just gets to be whatever they need to be, and they’re accepted for that,” said Rachel Carnival, one of the attendees.

The event began by calling up everybody who had never been to a Rocky Horror event before , affectionately labeled “Virgins” with large V’s painted on their faces with red lipstick, to bend over and show their behinds. But this wasn’t an offensive gesture but more of a celebratory Rocky Horror tradition, to break the ice and make everybody comfortable in the weird nature.

“It’s just so weird, It’s a movie for people who are kinda misfits and its a movie for misfits. It’s a movie that says ‘It’s okay to be weird.’” -Ryan Kennington, Audience Member, Former Rocky Horror Shadow Cast Member

Audience members were allowed to purchase bags that included glow sticks to wave during songs or toilet paper rolls to throw when the character Brad yells, “Great Scott”, showing the tradition of the oddity.

Chris Gornfeld, another attendee, described the welcoming atmosphere during Rocky Horror.

“Everybody is just happy,” Gornfeld said. “Like everybody is into it, it doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, all walks of life are just so into it.”

Rocky Horror not only is a lampooning of an odd lackluster movie from the ’70s, but also a chance for the audience to embrace the weird. The story itself is very odd, with the main antagonist, doctor Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) being, as the character puts it in song, “A sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania.”

Mady Smith performs the iconic role of the notorious Frank N’ Furter. (Lauryn Bolz | Collegian)

There’s a subplot where all Frank N. Furter’s servants are actually aliens, the music is off the wall and nonsensical, and every character on stage and on screen eventually ends up in lingerie by the end of the story. The stage performance accepts this full force, adding exaggerated movements and comedic lewd gestures to the performance.

This also brings up a point in that Rocky Horror, it gives representation and a place to members of the LGBT community to feel welcome. To quote one of the performers Kevkat Martinez: “Rocky Horror was created way ahead of its time… The product shows same-sex relationships, it shows cross-dressing, it shows people that identify with different genders, in situations that are, yeah it’s weird, but the outsiders are the ‘normal people’, Brad and Janet (The protagonists), they’re the weird ones.”

Rocky Horror is a celebration of identities out of the norm, it gives people who feel marginalized or different a safe place in its weirdness.

Rocky Horror is an odd tradition that represents, among things such as being the longest-running theatrical release in history, an experience unlike anything you can find in cinema. It was a delight the whole way through, and anybody who has an affinity for the weird should check it out at least once in their lifetime.


Jalen Winfrey can be reached at or on Twitter @jalen_winfrey.