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Sunday, April 21, 2019


‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ brews a weekend spectacle for UH


Royal Mystic puts on live performances of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at least 15 times a year at the River Oaks Theater. | Lourdes Zavaleta/The Cougar

UH is invited to go on a strange journey.

The Royal Mystic Order of Chaos, a Houston theater group, wants students to celebrate Halloween at their Rocky Horror Picture Shows on Friday and Saturday at the River Oaks Theatre. Last week, the group visited UH and performed a tribute of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in the Student Center Theater to give students a taste of what they do in their home theater.

“Everyone should come out because it’s a tradition,” said Jeff Foss, the show’s emcee and director. “Our October shows are our most popular, and we want as many people as possible to experience ‘Rocky Horror’ with us.”

In the show, cast members acted in front of a screen showing the 1975 musical comedy and dressed as characters from it while mimicking the actions behind them.

To get their audience involved, the actors walked through aisles and jumped over seats to sing to students. Foss, who has been a part of “Rocky Horror” performances for more than 30 years, sarcastically warned students that they should leave if they were afraid of cast members invading their personal space.

Finance freshman Hanna Le knew what she was in for when she was asked to go on stage to dance with the cast in the first scene. Le came to see the show because she enjoyed the way Royal Mystic Order performed it at the River Oaks Theatre a few weeks before.

“I love seeing ‘Rocky Horror,’” Le said. “It’s just a lot of fun every time. It always feels new and different. I had to come and see it here.”

At the UH show, the cast danced and mouthed along to songs such as “Dammit Janet” and “The Time Warp” while pulling gimmicks on stage. During one of their songs, the actors asked attendees to stand up and dance the Macarena with them.

Foss did live commentary over the film and made sure to share all of its accidental innuendos. While he picked apart the film, the crowd echoed and chanted his humorous phrases.

Audience members also played their part when they wore or threw items that they received before the show on stage and into the crowd. By the end of the night, the SC Theater was covered in toilet paper.

This interactive style of performance has been a tradition since 1976, a year after the musical comedy film was released. The film did not do well at the box office, but later became a phenomenon when theaters began showing it and encouraging the audience to participate.

Royal Mystic Order of Chaos has been performing “Rocky Horror” shows in this style once a year at UH for the past three years. The group typically performs its shows in River Oaks, but has been continuously called to perform on campus by the Student Program Board due to positive feedback.

History freshman Natalia Torres went to see last week’s “Rocky Horror” show and is eager to see it again as soon as she can.

“I loved the show,” Torres said, “I think I’m going to the show that they announced for (this) weekend.”

Students who attend one of Royal Mystic Order of Chaos’ “Rocky Horror” shows this weekend can expect a costume contest, a full bar and close to 1,000 other fans in attendance.

Due to the show’s high demand during Halloween season, online tickets for their midnight shows on Friday and Saturday are no longer available. Those who want to see the show this weekend should visit the box office early to secure tickets.

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