Posts Tagged: Audience Participation

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Reviewed

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With Halloween around the corner I thought the only appropriate show to review, well not the show but the movie version of the Rocky Horror Show (which is in musical form again), would be to review the Rocky Horror Picture Show and why it has lasted for such a long time.  The funny thing about the Rocky Horror Picture Show is that it actually isn’t supposed to really have to much of a plot and is just an insane running around of nothing in particular, but then again it can actually be seen as a love story and a story about helping to stop a mad scientist from taking over the world.  So what is the Rocky Horror Picture Show and why did it become so famous and why is it still running.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a movie musical created in the 70’s I believe.  It is the story of a young couple who decides to get married and because they get engaged at their friends wedding they get the idea to visit their old professor whose class they had met in.  On their way to visit their old professor, who is also a friend, they get a flat tire and need to go for help.

The couple comes across a castle which is the home of Dr. Frank N Furter and also ends up being a spaceship and that is when they meet a cast of characters that includes aliens, groupies and even rock n roll star Meatloaf.  Brad and Janet, the happy couple, go through a crazy night of sex, watching a man be brought to life and watching servants take over and murder their master.  They get sat to dinner and end up eating a human and also experience lesbian and gay sex.  The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a movie ahead of its time and became one of the very first cult films (films with a large following like Star Wars, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Wizard of Oz, Napoleon Dynamite, Night of the Living Dead or A Clockwork Orange).  Featuring an all star cast with Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf as well as an excellent soundtrack with the Halloween classic the Time Warp, the Rocky Horror Picture Show flopped as a mainstream movie but became an overnight (literally) hit with midnight showings.  What really made it famous though was when the same groups of people starting coming back week after week for midnight showings and eventually actually started showing up in Rocky Horror Picture Show costumes as well.

If the costumes weren’t enough, they eventually started to communicate with the screen.  Not only did The Rocky Horror Picture Show become one of the first audience participation movies, but eventually people started to bring in props and throw things in the theatre.  They brought playing cards to toss when Dr. Frank N Furter says “Cards for sorrow, cards for pain” and acts like he is dealing a deck or cards or toast to throw when the character on screen yells a toast but the people who would show up in costume started to form a cast and act out the film in front of the screen and in sync with it. Because of the obsession and making the Rocky Horror Picture Show an audience participation phenomenon, it picked up into the main stream movies and society by bringing in acting students, college students, high school students and audiences of all ages for halloween shows.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a classic example of how a cult film or a random film about nothing can become a success and still sells out in many cities to do this day for midnight showings on Halloween and most other weekends in many major cities.  Do a Google search for Rocky Horror Picture Show and type your city’s name after it to see if there is a showing or local cast page for the city you live.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Here is the live show version

Evita Audience Participation – Madonna Version

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Ok, one thing everyone loves is a good classic Broadway Show.  Well not everyone but when you mix a Pop Diva like Madonna, her acting is on and you also throw in a heart throb Hollywood Actor and Broadway Star like Antonio Banderas, you definitely have a winning mix.

Not only did this show become a reality and hit the main stream in the 90’s to bring Broadway back to main life, but it also sparked a career for Madonna, since in my opinion it was the only movie she starred in (besides A League of Their Own (Directed by Penny Marshall) with the fabulous, Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell, Gena Davis and Lori Petty) where she did a phenomenal job.  I love Madonna and was even more in love with her when I saw this movie production.  I even went out and bought her remixes on vinyl to spin at a couple of raves and clubs when I was in college because when you mix a Pop Diva and Broadway together you are bound to get a few flawless songs and remixes from it.  Sure enough her Don’t Cry for Me Argentina hit the top of the dance charts as well.  But did you expect anything less from the fabulous miss Madge in her Broadway Screen debut?

Anyways, onto the purpose of this post which is the call backs from the song Don’t Cry for Me Argentina for Showtunes nights when they play Madonna’s Evita and everyone goes crazy.

She starts on her balcony with:

Madonna (M):  It won’t be easy

Audience (A):  Like you

M:  You’ll think its strange

A:  Like you

M:  When I try to explain how I feel

A:  Like a slut

……………….

M:  It won’t be eeeeaaasy

A:  Like you

Then this goes on for a while.

Now, when she finishes her next couple versus, the camera scans the audience and as it is scanning it eventually catches on to Antonio Banderas in the crowd and everyone yells “There’s Waldo”.

Another fun call back is when the crowd starts cheering Peron, Peron, Peron and the camera is scanning from the back to the front whee Madonna is on her balcony and since it is looking from behind the supports signs say noreP instead of Peron so everyone in the crowd will start chanting No Rep, No Rep, No Rep.  I just realized how ironic that is especially since Eva was for the representation of the Argentine People and we are chanting No Rep and that is her husband’s last name backwards.  Gotta love Irony!

Anyways, at the end of the song in some bars they all pass out drink napkins and when she finishes her speech and everyone cheers people toss drink napkins in the air like confetti to celebrate either the end of the song if you are not an Evita or Madonna fan or to cheer them both on.  Some bars do this and some don’t do it for this song but they do do it on the song “Buenos Aires” when she is leaving for the train.  BTW there are a ton of fun call backs for this song too.

Anyways, Evita was a hit at the movies and is still going strong strong at showtunes nights across the country in both straight and gay bars.  Everyone loves a classic show you can sing a long to and when you tie in stars like Madonna and Antonio Banderas it gets even better.

Broadway’s Titanic – Audience Participation

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Although the show Titanic on Broadway pretty much sunk like its main focus, it did become a huge hit at showtunes nights everywhere across the country.  Not only do people sing along “All aboard the Shiiipppp Titaniiicc” and make fun of the faster versus by singing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah but they also created an entirely fun audience participation routine to match the main song.

When the camera is scrolling along all of the people lined up from the back right to the front, you see an angry woman staring and also a woman put her fingers in front of her lips like she is saying, shh…. When you see the angry woman staring you’ll hear people yell Hey! She’s wearing my hat and all of the sudden you see the woman saying Shh….

Then when they break away from the line because the crew is yelling all aboard and people scatter, you’ll hear people at showtunes nights start yelling run for your lives, run for your lives.  Oddly enough if only Showtunes Audiences would have been there when the original ship launched.  If you’re a Mame fan, when you see the boy running across the stage, you can yell Run Patrick Run!   But the most fun part of the audience participation for the show Tiatnic is the end when they get everyone on board and finish the song.

Just before the song ends and they are casting off, everyone starts waving the cast away with napkins in their hands and then on cue everyone tosses them in the air and creates a fun and napkin filled room.  Kind of like confetti and waving off a ship leaving for a cruise or trip in real life.  Oddly enough it is also like waving this show off onto Broadway History for ever as well.

Although the Broadway Show Titanic sunk, it definitely made its way into broadway fame by reappearing at Showtunes nights across the USA and becoming a fun audience participation show and song.  Unfortunately it is only one song that people know and sing, but hey, that is better than most.  Titanic flopped and I would probably never go see it, but I do love how it made an appearance at Showtunes Nights and if you are ever in Chicago you have to go to Sidetracks for this song to really see everyone go crazy over it.  Titanic flopped but definitely became a hit with showtunes nights in most major cities.