Antici….pation! Rocky Horror Picture Show Tonight

Fox airs its brand-new production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show this evening (October 20).

A reimagining of the original movie, the two-hour event follows sweethearts JANET (Victoria Justice, “Victorious”) and BRAD (Ryan McCartan, “Liv & Maddie,” “Heathers the Musical”), who stumble upon DR. FRANK-N-FURTER’s (Emmy Award-nominated actress Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”) bizarre abode. Frank-N-Furter, a sexually ambiguous, flirtatious mad-scientist, is holding an annual Transylvanian science convention to showcase the birth of ROCKY HORROR – a muscle-bound specimen created solely to fulfill Frank’s desires. Actor and singer Staz Nair (“Game of Thrones”) will star in the role. Also featured in the event are “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert as EDDIE, Reeve Carney (“Penny Dreadful,” “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark”) as RIFF RAFF, Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford (“Sylvia,” “You Can’t Take It With You,” “Masters of Sex”) as COLUMBIA, Christina Milian (“Grandfathered”) as MAGENTA, Ivy Levan as USHERETTE, Tony Award winner Ben Vereen (“Pippin”) as DR. EVERETT SCOTT and Emmy Award nominee Tim Curry, the original Frank-N-Furter, as the show’s CRIMINOLOGIST NARRATOR.

For those who’ve never attended a theatrical showing of the movie with a crew on stage leading the audience participation, Fox provides this infographic (you’ll need to download and magnify it):


The new production is directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, whose credits include Michael Jackson’s comeback show, This Is It.


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26 thoughts on “Antici….pation! Rocky Horror Picture Show Tonight

  1. I’m slightly boggled that they’re airing this on broadcast TV. Although since this is a remake I suppose they could have toned it down where necessary. (And I suppose broadcast standards have changed enough they could probably broadcast the original these days. Although… primetime…?)

    And, on the gripping hand, most of the really non-broadcastable stuff is from the audience, not on the screen….

  2. Not only are they airing it on network TV during primetime, but it’s airing on FOX. (Glee did a Rocky Horror episode, but they made some changes.) We live in an age of miracles and wonders.

    I’ve watched some of the videos they’ve put up on YouTube and I haven’t been too impressed. But I’m remembering the movie from midnight shows more than three decades ago. People who don’t have a bunch of nostalgia invested in the original movie (or the even more original stage show) may find this one just fine.

  3. I don’t know any of the people in this cast, but I’m looking forward to it with keen antici. I’ll probably cheer the Criminologist. That always brought a puzzled silence at the theater.

  4. If nothing else, with Kenny Ortega’s involvement, I expect this to have spectacular choreography. He’s really, really good with crowd scenes.

  5. There are very few albums I have permanently on whatever portable music device I am currently using (dating back to Walkman days) but RHS is one. And I’m in a minority (as noted in the Cult Movies Bracket threads) in that I really don’t like the audience participation aspect of the show; I know why it is there but it’s not for me.

  6. I’m also in that minority. Recently the Castro theater here in San Francisco ran it and I saw it with a friend for the first time in a theater in 30-some years. We deliberately went to the first show (2:00) because we figured that would be safe from audience participation and we could see it as it was intended to be–without commercial or other interruptions.
    Quite frankly, some of that audience nonsense detracts from enjoying the dialogue and scene.
    This new interpretation will probably have it’s moments but the soundtrack (what’s been released anyway) will leave something to be desired. It appears to be trying to appeal to the younger crowd and seems over-produced to these old ears. Technology’s all very well, but some of us prefer a more raw sound. Like Dusty in Memphis or Bette at the baths.

  7. I saw that when the monster was created in the remake they retained the reference in the song to Charles Atlas. Will any Millennial or Gen Xer know who Charles Atlas was?

  8. Hot patootie, bless my soul, I really love that pixel scroll.
    There’s a scroll — burning at the pixelstein place.
    Science fiction, double feature, pixel scroll will build a creature.
    It’s just a scroll to the left, then a pixel to the right.

  9. 2-3 years ago, I had a viewing of the old RHPS for people who had never seen it. And it was interesting to see how they spontaneously stood up and wanted to dance to it, demanded I showed the Time Warp-scene again and again.

    So while I myself like it best without audience participation, I can really understand the people who love it.

  10. review later today on Amazing: short takes – the choreography was awful: the Time Warp was a simple dance that anyone could hop up and do almost instantly; now – you can’t even follow the steps.

    songs were a mixed bag, some decent “covers”, others were (IMO) badly arranged.

    The major issue is, they necessarily left out some scenes/dialogue, and it rendered the “story” incomprehensible.

    Young ‘uns probably now wonder why all the hype over something so nonsensical and ‘tame’

  11. UGH! That graphic!

    What about waving to the back row – and back-rowers taking a bow? what about throwing toast? what about….

    Everyone likes tea, right? Tea and gloves are a thing, right? Well, RHPS:LDTTWA is weak tea strained through a sweaty sock, making that graphic perfect.

  12. Will any Millennial or Gen Xer know who Charles Atlas was?

    Any of them familiar with classic comics should. The ads probably ran well into the 1980s.
    (In the first frame of this version, it looks like a young Barack Obama being stared at by a recumbent Ronald Regan.)

  13. The 1980s were 30 years ago.

    When I was an active comics reader, I was aware of 30 year old characters, and to a lesser extent, some stories (because they had showed up in reprint comics). But I was by no means aware of 30 year old advertisements.

  14. Later on in the show there is a reference to Lili St. Cyr. That’s a reference too ancient for me!

    It’s nice to see Tim Curry has made a comeback from his stroke.

  15. The 1980s were 30 years ago.

    And the question was “Will any Millennial or Gen Xer know who Charles Atlas was?”

    According to Wikipedia (about Generation X) “There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the early to mid-1960s and ending birth years ranging from the late 1970s to early 1980s.”

    The oldest Gen Xers are in their 50s now. Gen Xers were reading 30 year old comics 30 years ago. I’m firmly in the middle of Generation X, and I was reading those comics with those ads 30 years ago. So the answer to the question “would Gen Xers know who Charles Atlas is” is yes.

    According to Wikipedia (for Millennials) “There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and ending birth years ranging from the mid-1990s to early 2000s.”

    So Millennials range from around 36 years old to around 16 years old. Were there Millennials 20 years ago who were reading 10-year old back issues of comics, or Millennials 10 years ago reading 20-year old back issues of comics? I’m willing to bet that there were.

  16. Good point. A decent fraction of the Rocky Horror audience may well have been reading 1980s comics at some point in their lives. And this says that the ad campaign was revived in 1997 in some Marvel comics.

    Recognize this bodybuilder in a comic book ad?

    I was born in the early to mid 1960s, and “Gen X” has never been a good description of me or my contemporaries. If I had to label myself, I’d go with the tail end of the baby boom (although that isn’t really right either, as it usually applies to those who came about in the post WW2 era, which was too far back to describe me — my dad was 6 years old when WW2 ended).

  17. Do the younger generations not know how to Google? Seems like a skill they ought to have.
    Or maybe they’re in the habit of not inquiring about things of which they are unaware?

    One of the great things (I think) about our current era is – nothing ever dies. Somewhere, there are websites devoted to Car 54 Where Are You, Mr. Ed, the Jack Benny Show, The Honeymooners and every other (obscure) media thing that’s ever been broadcast; if you know who Edward G. Robinson was, you can catch his films on TMC…not to mention Hollywood going gaga over re-dos of anything and everything that managed to sell five nickel tickets on a Sunday Afternoon…

    You can visit newspaper archives that go back over a century; read ebooks of Silas Marner and David Copperfield…look up the works of every cubist you never heard of.

    The internet is nostalgia heaven (had I the dollars, I could go to Ebay and purchase every single toy I ever played with as a 6 year old – and in a growing number of cases, I can buy re-mastered versions of the same thing)

    There’s absolutely no excuse for not learning about something you are unfamiliar with – a name, a place, a thing, a happening. So why do so many seem to ignorant? (Even worse, why demonstrate that ignorance when it is so easily solvable?)

  18. Somewhere, there are websites devoted to Car 54 Where Are You, Mr. Ed, the Jack Benny Show, The Honeymooners and every other (obscure) media thing that’s ever been broadcast;

    If you have an antenna (in the US, at least) you can still watch those older shows on digital subchannels. (In my market, we get at least 10 broadcast channels of older TV and movies: Movies!, MeTV, ION, Antenna TV, COZI TV, Escape, Comet TV, Bounce TV, Grit, and GetTV.) They have definitely carried Car 54, Mr. Ed and The Honeymooners. I don’t know about Jack Benny, but Antenna TV airs reruns of Carson.

  19. Kids in my generation learned to navigate much trickier waters than the fairly mainstream references in RHPS: we watched Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, and were thus conversant with any number of catch phrases from the 30s to the 50s.

    Sometimes, mysterious items would suddenly become clear long after I had seen them. I might be looking at an old magazine, or watching a movie on TV, and yet another reference would be clarified. Still, some never did make sense to me, at least until I encountered Eric Costello’s Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion, an encyclopedic guide to the arcane mysteries of the Warners.

    I was pleased to be the first to put it in print, serializing it in APATOONS during my tenure as Monkey #1 (sometimes known as the OE, Central Mailer, or Fearless Leader), so I’m not unbiased. It’s been online a couple of times. It was hosted by Kricfalusi for a while, I believe. When it went away, a friend of mine and I were looking into hosting it on my friend’s website, but it now seems to have its own domain, and more power to it. It makes great light reading.

  20. Dangit, I wanted to see this, just for Cox, Vereen, and Curry. Also I thought maybe Lambert might be an okay Eddie.

    Wonder if there’ll be a rerun or if it’s online. To the Googles!

  21. “Do the younger generations not know how to Google? Seems like a skill they ought to have.
    Or maybe they’re in the habit of not inquiring about things of which they are unaware?”

    This is absolutely true. I seldom google on things that I’m not aware of. And I do prefer to nurture my own nostalgia rather than the nostalgia of others.

  22. I find that I’m more likely to google something or look it up on wikipedia if I’m sure someone else is wrong. (xkcd reference: 386)

    It does drive me crazy when someone uses a Q&A session to ask a question with an answer that can be found quickly online. OTOH, I find that “let me google it for you” response to be almost as annoying.

    Sarah Larson has a good review of Fox’s Rocky for the New Yorker. She reminded me how much of the excitement of Rocky Horror was just going at midnight and doing something that amounted to “a mild amount of mischief.”

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