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Arts and Entertainment

Doin' the "Time Warp" With a Few Thousand Friends

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Last night LAist bid adieu to summer with one last evening under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. But last night wasn't the usual orchestra and picnic basket affair--it was a screening of the midnight movie cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, celebrating its 30th anniversary with what amounted to be the biggest ever audience participation crowd in the film's decadent and scantily clad history. The pre-show included a performance by the band Louis XIV, and a costume parade and contest won by a handsome lad in a gold lame pair of panties (dressed as Rocky, naturally). The night was emceed by former Go-Go and currently annoying Jane Weidlin, and the cast of the Art Theatre in Long Beach's Midnight Insanity group did the live show act-along with the film. The audience was a mish-mash of the clueless and some "wild and untamed things"--tons of drag, plenty of bare butt cheeks, and loads of lingerie. Some RHPS "virgins" were subjected to brief humiliation, and as the show went on the audience response shouts represented the dialogue of many generations and many theatres, all of which coin their own special, and frequently obscene, bits to scream at the screen.

Though it had been awhile since we'd last attended a screening, it was like a bit of a "Time Warp" of our own when the ridiculous songs, words, and gestures of the film flooded in like a flashback. We'd spent most Saturday midnight hours of our junior and senior years of high school dressed in lace and lipstick at South Pasadena's Rialto theatre, with the fine but freaky folks from the now-defunct group "Voyeuristic Intention." We know the whole ridiculous sci-fi fantasy cross-dressing musical start to finish, but we're a Janet Weiss ("slut!") at heart. Last night we got to stand in the aisles of one of LA's oldest outdoor theatres with a few thousand of our fellow "Rocky Whores" and take that jump to the left and step to the right. We sang, we dodged streams of water from squirt guns, flying rice, toast, confetti, cards, and toilet paper. We realized what a goofy, plot-thin, over-the-top movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show really is, but--underneath all the marabou feathers, garter belts, and errant nipples lurks the films simple message: "Don't dream it, be it." Happy 30th Birthday, Rocky! For us, you don't feel a day over 17.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show screens regularly in Los Angeles at the Nuart Theatre, with live performances by Sins O' the Flesh, and at the Art Theatre in Long Beach with Midnight Insanity.