Rocky Horror Picture Show Preview

Posted on 05 October 2011 by admin

Meramec Theater to perform Rocky Horror Picture Show Oct. 5-8
By: Kimberly Morice

Cast members perform during a rehearsal for "The Rocky Horror Show" in the Meramec Theatre on Oct. 4. The show will run from Oct. 5-8, with a midnight showing on the 8th. PHOTO | Mike Ziegler

– Staff Writer –
The Humanities East building on St. Louis Community College – Meramec’s campus is filled with the antici…pation of the theater department’s upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show. The buzz surrounding the show is the planned midnight show on the 9th of October.
“I’m excited about it because, you know, it’s unique to this play itself. In a traditional way, most people know of it as the picture show, which means the midnight show that people go to in costume and we’re hoping to evoke part of that and that people are more interactive,” said Keith Oliver, the show’s director.
Former STLCC – Meramec student Stephen Henley plays the role of Brad, a fumbling and awkward character who’s actions are what some might call stupid. Henley says he has mixed thoughts on the midnight show.
“I don’t know how people will react to the actual performances, but with the midnight showing we’re hoping for people to come dressed and we’ll interact with guests and we hope they interact with us too,” Henley said.
Full-time STLCC-Meramec student, Derek Robertson, plays Dr. Frankenfurter, He says he hasn’t thought too much about the midnight show.
“I think it’s a midnight show. I expect it to be rowdy, I expect to see men dressed as women. I haven’t really thought about it, I’ve never done a midnight show of any sort before. I think we’ll see a lot of hilarious things and I hope the audience gets into it.” Robertson said.
There have been a few changes made to the stage show that hardcore fans of the movie should prepare themselves for.
“Because it’s a breathing work of art with theater and it’s live and music is involved, some of the music has been shortened or we’ve expanded to match some of the things going on stage; we’ve stayed very truthful to the script. I think people will be surprised by the things that are there and aren’t there,” said Oliver. “It’s still a little racy. It does have a little bit of an edge to it.”
Fans can look forward to still seeing as much raciness and edge that accompanies the Rocky Horror Picture Show to be in this stage production.
“Lots of fishnets, lots of heels, the corsets are still there,” Robertson said.
Robertson expressed apprehension to the changes being made before they began rehearsals.
“Tim Curry is iconic in this roll, it was hard for me to pull away from that. I wanted to sort of copycat a few things, but Keith was really strong about that just wasn’t the choice that he wanted. The more we worked with that, the more I was on board with it. At some point you have to realize that you just can’t outdo Tim Curry, and I think we’ve hit a happy medium,” Robertson said.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show show schedule is as follows:
October 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. (Humanities East Theater)
October 8 at 7:30 p.m. and midnight.
  • Charlie Keilberg

     An open letter to the cast and crew of the Rocky Horror Show,

    I came from Kansas City this weekend to see the RHS @Meramec. I was at the 7:30 show Friday, and both the shows on Saturday. I wanted to say that the production was really quite good. The best show we’ve seen in St Louis in the years we’ve been traveling to the RHS. (about 10 years, 50 different productions in a dozen states)

    However. At the first two shows my Audience Participation was pretty well appreciated. Lots of laughs, and the crowd and cast seemed into it. (you probably know my voice.) But, at the midnight show, the actor who played Frank N Furter seemed to have a bit of an attitude. From the stage, he made a joke about (of all things) my weight. I have dealt with my weight issues for a long time, and that doesn’t bother me. But the fact that Derek Robertson decided to make a joke at my personal expense is kinda petty. And childish.

    In the 16 years I’ve been attending both the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the Rocky Horror Show, and the 8+ years that I’ve worked on Rocky Horror Show productions, it has always been a show of inclusion. Rocky Horror isn’t popular because people get to dress up, or shout things. It’s popular because it’s a place where EVERYONE can feel accepted. And to take your role, of all roles, and use it as a platform for you to insult a dedicated audience member is pretty sad.

    Derek, if you’re reading this, I don’t know which line I said that insulted you to the point where you felt the need to retaliate. You’re actually one of the few characters that don’t (I don’t think) draw any direct insults from my Audience Participation. Never called a slut, or an asshole, or a child molester. Maybe it was the fact that I was getting a far better response from my darkened seat in the audience, than you were getting under the spotlight. Maybe it’s the fact I was getting laughs, and your performance wasn’t getting much response at all. Maybe you don’t understand that audience participation is part of the game, but insulting your audience isn’t. I don’t know what the case is. But I will tell you this, insulting the people who applaud you is no way to get fans. And, while I’m at it, I’d also like to point out how silly your joke was anyway. You see, I have a big voice to match my big body (my “not tiny” body as you so eloquently put it). So in the dark of the theater, most people can *hear* me, but not see me. The people within about a 6 seat radius know where the voice is coming from. However, I can stand outside and hear people talking about me and my jokes during intermission without them knowing I’m there, which is proof that they don’t have a clue what I look like. But you. You saw me at the second show, and decided that you needed to take action! So, when I said “Who you callin’ tiny, fool?” in a bad Mr. T voice, you seized on the chance to make your joke: “You’re certainly not tiny.” And there was no reaction. Because to the audience, my joke was kinda funny, but then Derek (I won’t call you Frank. Frank wasn’t an asshole, Derek was) made a petty little joke that didn’t make sense to 90% of the audience. And also, I kinda already made the joke. You said “tiny fools” and I said “who you callin’ tiny?” which means I objected to being called Tiny.

    Good one.

    To the rest of the cast, especially Janet (that’ll be a first), Rocky (What’s a yacht for?), and Mr. Narrator (is it true you’re a child molester?), thank you for putting on a great show. I love the Rocky Horror Show more than anything. You fine people put on a wonderful show. And everyone else in the cast who seemed to take their AP abuse completely in stride, I applaud you. To those of you who broke character to laugh at a line, thank you. That is my very favorite response. I like to surprise everyone, including the cast. Which is why there were different jokes in each show.

    Thank you, to anyone who took the time to read this. And Derek, if you’re out there, I hope you don’t decide to play Frank again. That part is too good for someone who doesn’t appreciate it. But, if you do decide to repeat the role, listen for me in the audience. I’ll be the one everyone is laughing at, while you’re flubbing the lyrics to “I’m Going Home.” Again.

    • Matt Schulze

      Okay, This is the guy who played Rocky, just to let you know.

      Anyways, I found it surprising that you take offense to a comment from the most sarcastic character of the play who is supposed to be crude in anyway possible. Sure, of course the comment was offensive, but in reaity, this whole show is.

      Now as for your comments, I seriously appriciate them, they were awesome and well thought out and had great delivery, and they boosted up the performance by just that much more. But for you to be so involved and to write terrible things about Derrick is utterly disappointing to me. I haven’t known derrick that long but he has been the greatest person to every cast member, he’s the one who did everyone’s makeup and hair while also suggesting amazing ideas for the show. While doing all this he’s worked so hard for playing frank and has done absolutely a wonderful job. He even was even nominated to compete for an acting scholarship for ACTF (I could be wrong on what it’s called) That nomination was clearly well deserved.

      Derrick will never be Tim Curry, and no one else will be either, but he made this role his own and he rocked the F***ing house with it. I seriously believe he is one of the “greats” that will have EVER played this role.

      I felt the comment he made was a great comment, it was sassy and insulting, just like frank is.
      Frank – “May I offer you something refreshing?”
      Brad & Janet – “No”
      Frank – “You’re right, I won’t.”
      This role calls for someone to be as sassy, and insulting as much as possible. Sure the comment was clearly insulting, but it was how you took it, and clearly you didn’t take it well. Most of the cast recognized you from the stage, and even though most of the audience didn’t, they still laughed at the comment he threw back. Trust me, they did. Derrick was playing the perfect character, and was doing a stunning job at acting. You just took this way too personal and decided to make a note about it in public with the proof being your comment on this article.

      If you’re going to heckle, you need to be able to swallow whatever the cast throws back. That’s it.

      On final note, I’m glad you really enjoyed the show, and I’m seriously impressed that you came from KC just to see the show, and how you’ve seen so many and still liked ours! Thank you for being such an awesome fan of Rocky Horror and giving some great audience material for our shows. The Justin Bieber joke was absolutely brilliant!

      • Charlie Keilberg

        I’m not sure how to respond to this without sounding totally defensive. But I’m going to try.

        I don’t really want it to seem like I’m “offended.” I don’t think that’s the right word. I can, and do, take many things in stride. I wasn’t offended by the comment because of the content of the joke. It was more that it was a bit of a personal attack. When I do audience participation, I’m not calling Stephen an asshole. Or the actress who played Janet a slut. I’m talking to Brad and Janet. The characters. But when the joke was pointed at me, the fat guy in the audience, that’s not really the spirit of the game. It’s like tackling in flag football. I’ve done this many times, and have often had actors come back at me in the audience. But not *at me.* If that makes sense. They’re making comebacks at “the audience” rather than me specifically.

        And for the record, the Justin Bieber joke was a happy accident. It was actually a reference to “a weakling, weighing 98 lbs.” I will give Derek that, he made that specific joke a lot better than it was intended to be. And his “I prefer them newborn” comment was pretty great. That’s the sort of interaction I like. I make a joke, and then another hysterical joke follows. It’s just when they get personal, that I start to take it personally.

        All this being said, I really did enjoy the show. And up till that point, I even enjoyed Derek as Frank. But that joke was mean-spirited, and not what Rocky should be about. (I know this is an argument I won’t win. So I’ll try to leave it at this) Actors often become actors because there is something they don’t like about themselves, so they immerse themselves in a role to become something different. Well sometimes, people get good at sitting in the dark, and saying things that make people laugh. Because there’s something about himself that he doesn’t like. That guy finds a place to belong, a place where everyone can belong. That place becomes pretty special. And that special feeling of belonging, that’s what Rocky should be about.

        • Matt Schulze

          I understand if you are being defensive, so don’t worry.

          But in all fairness, to say you felt like the comment was a personal attack is highly unnecessary. Throughout the production, we’ve had comments from the audience about particular actors/actresses actual physical appearance, not the character’s appearance. Of course, the comments we’re highly inappropriate to the actor/actress, but we have to take those comments in stride just as much as you should. Have you ever thought Derek was staying in character and Frank said the comment about your weight rather than Derek? Derek is playing a part, and Derek was very strict to the cast on staying in character as much as possible.

          When Derek added to the Bieber joke, it was something Frank would say. There’s no reason to insult back at an individual for saying “And now a song about Justin Bieber” His reply required it to be another joke. Just as if I replied with a “Fuck you, I’ve hit puberty and I’m only 4 minutes old.” Our replies require different actions. for “Who you calling tiny, fool?” You’re asking a question, hence asking for a direct answer. Derek was in the moment, and made a great comment back.

          Now for what “Rocky” should be about. You said in your first comment “It’s popular because it’s a place where EVERYONE can feel accepted.” In a way, you’re actually being quite hypocritical. You made comments most of the show, and sure while most of them were amazing, most of the time it was only you making comments. You rambled on about the jokes you made and how everyone laughed,
          For example, you said

          “Maybe it’s the fact I was getting laughs, and your performance wasn’t
          getting much response at all. Maybe you don’t understand that audience
          participation is part of the game, but insulting your audience isn’t.”

          “Audience participation is part of the game” ? It felt like you were the only one actually participating to be honest. Now that’s not to say that most people didn’t know what to do, we had all sorts of comments from people, but it felt more like perfectly said one-liners from an audience member thinking of a great joke on the spot only once and then they can’t throw out anything cause you were doing all that? where’s the fairness in that for the rest of the audience? Sure you’re a great RH Fan, but it’s not “Charlie’s Participation” it’s “Audience Participation”

          I may be only making a rather bland assumption here, but it just sounds like you are a long-time conceited RH Fanboy who feels like he’s “Tough S**t” when it comes to being the audience comedian throwing jokes out. Sorry if that offends you. But seriously, I’m pretty sure anyone would read your comments and people would just say “Suck it up.”

          So please, for the sake of not sounding like a child who felt personally attacked and took out his unsatisfying reaction from an actor on an article. Please, Suck it up.

          • Charlie Keilberg

            As far as what the rest of the audience says about actors’ personal appearance, and things like that, I didn’t do any of that. I never do. I’ve made it a personal mission to NOT make the Audience Participation directed at the actors, just the characters. I assure you, you didn’t hear me insulting anyone personally. 

            And I don’t know how my being the only one participating (Which isn’t true, I’m just loud, and practiced) leads to me being a hypocrite. I didn’t tell anyone not to make jokes. There were lots of people in the audience shouting things out, and I didn’t personally attack any of them.

            And as far as sucking it up, it seems like you’re having just as hard a time “sucking it up” as you think I am. You’re certainly having no problems making judgments about me. So now, not only has Derek made personal attacks to an audience member, now so has Matt. And, *I’m* the “conceited fanboy who thinks he’s tough shit.” So to you, I say “Suck it up, Matt” a guy who drove 4 hours to see a show that he loves, didn’t like something one of the actors did.

          • Derek Robertson

            I honestly had resolved to stay out of this rediculous debate, but I do think some points need to be made.  First of all, you are blatantly lying if you say that you made no personal attacks while attending the show.  All three nights you made a comment after Dr. Scott had delivered his lines.  “No, Brad its worse..”  and you replied “actors”.  If on some level you don’t think that is a personal attack then you are lying to yourself and others.  I am not looking for someone to validate my acting ability.  I do the best I can each and every performance and if you like it, great, if not, well that’s great too.  Also, I was never angry or upset with the callbacks.  I myself have been to several midnight shows and love the callbacks.  I had just made it a personal goal that if you were going to dish it out I was going to dish it right back.  It was never out of anger it was out of improv.  I am sorry that you have battled your weight, and I am sorry that the comment hit close enough to home to upset you to the point of writing a rant.  I do apoligize for hurting your feelings. This show is just as much about having fun as it is about feeling accepted.  I’m sure if one of your comments had offended one of us you wouldn’t care nor would you apoligize.  In the spirit of Frank….  “Silly bitch.”

          • Roze Brooks

            For the record, I find it very crude that would use the fact that you drove from Kansas City as validation to point out your dissatisfaction with the manner in which Derek interpreted the role of Frank. I made that drive. I live in KC. But at no point in time, were I to have been disappointed in an element of the show, would I use my traveling as leverage to post such an unnecessary letter in a place where the cast was very unlikely to ever come across it.

              Don’t you think that the most logical route would have been to approach Derek following the show and tell him that you felt his comment was out of line rather that letting it stew in your mind and formulating a surplus of comments that you very likely wouldn’t have said to him in person? As someone who obviously has a passion for that role, Derek deserved that much; not this subtly public display of your personal lament.  

            You made the point yourself that the audience didn’t even know what you looked like, or where specifically you were sitting, so I find it hard to argue that Derek was using his remark to exploit you since I doubt even he was able to see precisely what seat you were located. 

            To be blunt, don’t even proceed with taking the comments made by Matt as another personal stab at you. You’re the one who has displayed their opinion on this open forum which is currently being inappropriately used on all accounts, and if for one moment you didn’t anticipate any number of opposed responses, then your arrogances astounds me and I’m glad you are to remain an ambiguous voice in my mind, rather than a tangible person.

             If the only praise you can give a theatre performance is based on how the actors toyed with your jokes, that is not only selfish, but that is completely defeating the purpose of being a thespian. Perhaps next time you attend a show, you’ll let the others in the audience appreciate it for what it’s supposed to be and not what you wish it to be. 

  • Djw

    I just want to say what a tremendous show this was. I spent my high school years at the Tivoli and Varsity watching the film (the guy I dated worked at both theaters.) I did not dress up, or throw things, or shout at the screen – but I enjoyed the film. I think the cast and crew at Meramec did an outstanding job – all of you. I was blown away. As a faculty member here, I just want to say how PROUD I am of all of you. Thanks for a great evening.   

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