I sauntered over to the theater in the rain, and the mood was buzzing. Old friends were showing up, both cast and audience. When the management let us in, people started doing their makeup, changing into wardrobe, and generaly getting into character. My character is a pompous windbag who narrates, so I didn't have much to do, so I flitted from person to person. Finally, the time came for the Virgin Popping. We had three girls who had seen the movie on TV, but were theater virgins. We gave them a proper welcome:
Here's to the girls we love the best,
We fuck them in the East, and we fuck them in the West.
We fuck them standing, we fuck them lying,
and if we had wings, we'd fuck them flying.
And when they're dead and long forgotten,
We'll dig them up and fuck them rotten!
The management pretty muich gave us the run of the place, including access to a storage area/changing room. Most of the cast milled about there, waiting for the show to start. FINALLY, Marc Buxtn, resplendent in fright makeup, blue hair, and looking like a Trent Reznor version of a Borg, started the preshow. The usual announcements, and a few people offering their own comments, including me. I forget exactly what I said, since it was pretty much off the cuff, but it did have one of my favorite opening lines:
SICKOS AND PERVERTS!
The lights dimmed, the music started, and the 15th anniversary show was underway.
What can I say about the show? For a bunch of middle-aged ex-freaks who were performing in a strange venue, we rocked the house. We remembered most of the old lines, and ad-libbed a few new ones. Our blocking was a little rusty, but we kept from falling over each other. My personal highlight: during the Time Warp, I actually had a desk from which to jump. For this I was grateful; at Nyack, I usually jumped off the stage, but I was too old and klutzy to do that now.
Another highlight: duing the "Unconventional Conventionists" speech, Brian "Gumball" O'Dell walked into the back. Joey/Devyn may be a more attractive (and certainly less hairy) Frank N. Furter, but nobody has the energy, attitude, and sheer body mass of Brian. Once Will and I saw him, our duty was clear. We kept him in the back and hidden from view until the Frank/Brad bedroom scene. As Joey was getting ready o walk out, somebody grabbed him, and Brian, in his fresh-from-his-sister's-wedding tuxedo, took his place. Over the laughter and cheers, Matt/Louis' voice was very clear:
Get off of me! I can't breathe!
Floorshow was memorable as well. After my speech, I plopped my ass in the front row. Everyone did their parts admirably. Louis loked exactly the same (he should; he's been doing this actively for 15 years). Liz gave her all, and them some; during Part 3 of the floorshow ("Jump, jump") she started peeking out of her corset, Not quite a full-on wardrobe malfnction, but definitley in character for the night.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, but not without another final surprise. When we all performend in Nyack, the movie was preceded by an Inspector Clouseau cartoon. Someone, somewhere had managed to find an Inspector costume, so I did my final scene wearing a yellow trenchcoat and a frickin' hot mask.
When the end credits ran, I was hoarse, tired, sweaty, and well past my vodka buzz. I was also more jazzed up than I had been in years. We all came out on stage and took one last bow together. we got a standing ovation. The usual organized grab-ass followed, hanging out at the theater until the management turned out the lights, then heading to a diner like a bunch of zombies to continue the fun over coffee and disco fries.
As great at that night was, we all knew that it was probably the last time we would ever bee together like that again. Phone numbers and email addresses were exchanged (some of which will probably be lost), promises to keep in touch made (but knowing that they probably wouldn't be kept in the long run), and hugs and kisses and people left to go hme to their spouses, their kids, their normal lives. Some people had a long drive home, some (like me) had to wait until their flight left.
This is definitely the last time I will perform in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and probably will be the last time I attend a show in the theater. I loved all of these people in a very special way, and when I left for Indy, there was some hurt and unsettled feelings and some unfinished business. That night gave me a chance to be young again, remember why I loved these people in the first place, and get to say my final goodbyes on much better terms. My one wish is that, come what may, we may all
STAY SANE INSIDE INSANITY!