A virgin’s guide to The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Mansfield Drive-in Theater is running the old-time Halloween classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” this Saturday, Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. While this in and of itself isn’t entirely remarkable, this year they’re featuring Connecticut’s RKO Army to accompany as a shadow cast.

What does this mean? Why, chills, thrills, cards and party hats-- it is, after all, a picnic.

For you virgins (AKA, people who haven’t been to a live showing), when RHPS is shown in theaters, a cast of volunteers will act out the major parts of the film on stage, dancing through the songs and wearing the same costumes as the folks on the silver screen.

It also means that you’re obligated, as an audience, to take part in the callbacks-- good hearted riffs and shoutouts in response to events on the screen. The audience, as well, can bring props to use during certain parts of the show.

This all sounds like a lot. But never fear! You too can take part, with this quick and dirty (mmm, very dirty) guide to the Rocky Horror Picture Show!

Before you leave, you can also take a bag of props. While RKO typically sells bags, you can save some money, or rock your own style, by taking your own. Here are a few suggestions:

A newspaper (Preferably this one!): When Janet climbs out of the car at the start of the film, hold the newspaper over your head to protect yourself from the “rain.”

A water pistol: The “rain”, of course! What did you think the newspapers were for?

A cigarette lighter: Wave it during the song “Over at the Frankenstein Place”. Preferably after putting away your newspaper.

A noisemaker (preferably a football rattler): Rattle it along with the conventionalists during the laboratory scene.

Party hat: Put it on during the dinner table scene when the cast sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Rocky.

Playing cards: When Frank sings “Cards for sorrow, cards for pain” during “I’m going home,” throw around the cards.

For callbacks, here are some classics, and a few of my personal favorites. If you think of something clever, then try it out!

During the wedding scene:

Brad: I’ve got something to say.

Janet: Uh-huh?

Brad: I really liked the... Skillful way... You beat the other girls…

Audience: With a stick?

During the criminologist’s scene:

Criminologist: I would like...

Audience: You would, wouldn’t you?

Criminologist: If I may…

Audience: You may not!

Criminologist: To take you on a strange journey.

Audience: How strange? They wrote an an entire musical about it!

During the rain scene:

(Janet uses the newspaper to cover her head)

Audience: Use an umbrella, you cheap bitch!

When Brad and Janet enter the castle:

Brad: It’s probably some hunting lodge for rich weirdos.

Audience: Rich weirdos aren’t in season, asshole!

During “Sweet Transvestite:”

Frank: I can see you shiver with antici…

Audience: SAY IT!

Frank: ...Pation!

When Eddie emerges from the vault:

Audience: Honey, take the meatloaf out of the freezer!

When Magenta bangs the gong:

Magenta: Master, dinner is prepared!

Audience: Meatloaf again?

Criminologist’s office:
Criminologist: From what had gone before, it was clear that this was to be...

Audience: A picnic?

Criminologist: ...no picnic.

Audience: Damnit!


Marlese Lessing is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu. She tweets @marlese_lessing.