7 Reasons Why Brave Potato’s Reproduction of Rocky Horror Was the Greatest Thing

I first fell in love with the film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in middle school. Back then, even if I didn’t exactly understand the context of the movie, I loved everything about it: the music, the absurd relationships between the characters, and pretty much the sheer ridiculousness of the plot. I could recite each song by heart (not an activity I would recommend for future 12-year-olds) and was prone to imitating my favorite characters, Magenta and Riff Raff, at odd and inopportune times.

Needless to say, I was skeptical when I heard Brave Potato would be reproducing the cult classic. It’s something to which I feel personally attached, and I was almost worried that this play wouldn’t match up with the one that I had adored throughout my teenage years. During last Friday’s show, I fell in love with Rocky Horror all over again. The entire crew couldn’t have made a better tribute to the original, and by adding some of the extra comedic touches only Kenyon could produce, they created an entirely new experience both for myself and, I hope, for everyone else who was lucky enough to see it. Here are just a few of those contributing factors.

1. Keeping the original songs and staying faithful to the original plot

While they could have cut out a number of songs to shorten the play, as well as a few of the less important scenes, the cast and crew did a great job of seamlessly incorporating nearly everything.

2. Interactions with the crowd

The very notion of having to sign a waiver before sitting in the front row immediately set the tone for the rest of the show. During certain scenes, the phantoms would wander through the crowd, sometimes fiddling with glasses and scarves, patting cheeks, or giving audience members actual props. When “The Time Warp” began, they didn’t hesitate to pull up reluctant, eager, and in some cases vaguely confused audience members to dance with them.  

3. Being set in the Black Box

Though there’s not much you could do about it anyway, the black-painted, eerie walls of the Black Box, the chill coming in from outside, and the single bulbs that lit the crowd from above during intermission greatly impacted the theatrical experience.

4. Costumes and makeup

From Eddie’s very realistic blood-smeared face to Dr. Frank N. Furter’s high heels and fishnets, the costume and makeup jobs were well done, convincing, and resembled those of the original characters. The golden flakes used on the faces of the Phantoms and on Rocky’s body also lent an even more ethereal feeling to the production.

5. The acting

Anyone can see that the students who act at Kenyon have talent, but a show like Rocky Horror, which consists of wildly different character personalities, fluctuating emotions, and scenes that can change from cheery song-and-dance to speechless horror did a lot to showcase the spectacular skills of the actors/actresses and the amount of time and effort they must have contributed to the show.

6. The little things

Just as the cast would often interact with the audience, the show also incorporated a number of other small details that played a part in its success. During the song “There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place),” some of the Phantoms (and one audience member) squeezed spray bottles at Brad and Janet as they shone their flashlights at the castle of Dr. Frank N. Furter, indicating the pouring rain around them. Before one of the final scenes, consisting of Dr. Frank N. Furter staging a “Floor Show,” began, the Phantoms scurried around the audience handing out playbills (in addition to the ones we received upon entering the Black Box) bearing the title “Floor Show,” the cast (i.e. the characters in the show), the approximate time, and the credits – which were all attributed to Dr. Frank N. Furter. This was extremely clever (as well an unnervingly meta), and did more to make the audience feel like they were just as much a part of the show as the cast and crew.

7. D-Cat came!

For those of you who also went to the show on Friday, you might have seen the President of Kenyon himself situated in one of the back corners. This didn’t really affect the show, but it was pretty funny to see some of the cast members interacting with him. 

 

Image: Brave Potato presents THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW facebook event