Fox Broadcasting does the Timewarp Again
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“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” came out in 1975 and became a huge hit instantly. Productions the film have been performed across the country by groups ever since the release. But in 2015, the Fox Broadcasting Casting announced that it would release a reproduction of the film entitled “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.”
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a big deal in my family, so I was really excited. One of the first things I noticed when I saw the cast, before even seeing the show, was that they were a very diverse group. This is pretty important because it’s not very often that most groups are represented all in one film.
As the movie went on, I began to notice many changes, most I liked, but a few I did not. The first one occurred in the very first song, “Science Fiction Double Feature.” The 1975 had Richard O’Brien sing the song while Patricia Quinn, who also plays the character Magenta, lip-synched the song, but only showing her lips. This became an iconic symbol of the film in its following, but in the 2016 version this was changed and they had singer Ivy Levan perform and sing the song as a movie theater usher. I feel the lips solo that was in the 1975 production should have carried on to the 2016 version because it was so symbolic to the movie and was even on the movie posters.
A new cast meant new voices, and many of these voices were phenomenal. Janet Weiss, played by Victoria Justice, and Brad Majors, played by Ryan McCartan, are the first two characters the audience is exposed to, so their first performance is crucial. In their performance of “Dammit Janet,” Justice and McCartan’s voices caught my attention immediately. Their voices were both excellent fits for the parts they played. Actress Laverne Cox played the part of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a transgender mad scientist from another planet. The part Dr. Frank N. Furter has numerous solos, and as soon as Cox started singing “Sweet Transvestite” I was blown away by the quality of her voice. I had never heard her singing voice before and I hope I get to hear it again someday.
There were also a lot of changes in the music and some dance choreography changes. Much of the music seemed more upbeat and had more instrumental changes from the 1975 variants. One notable song that changed was “Over at the Frankenstein Place” which had been enhanced by a faster tempo and new instrumental usage. The change of the dance choreography was very noticeable in “Time Warp” where it was degraded to a more complex dance. Even though I didn’t care for a few things such as this, the production was still very exciting.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to watch a new production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and I feel nearly everyone involved in it did a really good job at putting it together. I haven’t ever enjoyed watching anything on cable television like I did with this, and I can’t wait to see more like this in the future. Maybe in another 40 years I’ll get to enjoy the “Time Warp” once again.