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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Virgin no more

On an inky Saturday night, I was walking through an empty Davis campus on my “virginal” ascent to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. What I saw that night was beyond anything I had ever seen before. As a virgin to this show, I can attest to whoever is reading that the Rocky Horror Picture Show is weird, fabulous and alien. I’ll keep mum about what I’m describing, but I can wholly tell you that I have my v-card no more and that by the end I was hungry for more.

Walking into the main stage of Wright Theatre breeds a sense of familiarity. The walk winding up the stairs opens into the enclave where the stage and the audience both stand opposite of each other. I normally would have taken a breath of relief; instead I saw grown college men dressed in nothing but booty straps and fishnets. Such paleness had never before seen the light of day! A particular young man was wearing full bondage gear — an extra straight out of the movie. Was he the S or the M? Only he knows, but really, it was all too much for my virgin eyes. Other people showcased a Rocky Horror Picture Show affair by dressing just like the opposite gender. Before leaving the show I had to question my mode of dress and what I was wearing. Maybe fishnets could find a regular place in my wardrobe.

I took my seat before the movie started — I thought it was a performance. While sitting in the theatre, surrounded by the colorful folk who would soon come to make my night a memorable one, I began to regret that I was wearing pants. Onstage two performers strutted into the center fabulously. The male actor’s legs were in fact longer than the girl’s and his hairy legs were dressed in fishnets. He called up the best dressed of the night and we all proceeded to have a little trivia game with questions about the movie. “Science fiction, double feature!” was one of the answers and I did my best to pretend like I knew the answer too. Earlier an audience member had shouted out “Virgin sacrifice!” Being the wallflower I am, I thought that was it, my time on the unicorn express was over. But nothing ended up happening to me; it was just a movie, after all. The audience kept clamoring for blood.

A close-up of a singing mouth opened the movie and it was the trivia answer from earlier, “Science fiction, double feature.” What I didn’t expect was the audience chiming in, harmonizing and belting out numbers to the cult classic. The end of the first song got me hooked, and I knew Rocky Horror was something special. During certain scenes, rice, confetti and numerous other objects too dark to see pelted my head, and after each pelting I was anxious for the next.

The movie itself was very funny and at times weird, but apt for a musical that includes a transvestite doctor named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Frank for short. Every now and then, the audience would change the words, sometimes completely reworking the dialogue to fit their own pleasure, whatever that pleasure may be. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is vulgar, fancy and delicious. It reminded of me the time I said “Hi” to a pretty girl at a party and accidentally sloshed beer in her face. I didn’t have to drink beer anymore, and she needed livening up. I couldn’t bring myself to dread the fishnets because the show makes them work; if anything, I felt left out of all the fun. When the show ended in a final lift-off, I wanted more. I sang (mumbled, not knowing the lyrics), danced, laughed and, most of all, lost my virginity throughout the show. When I finally left Wright Theatre that night with my date, I am excited to say that I had joined the Rocky Horror club.

PETER AN can be contacted at arts@theaggie.org.

1 COMMENT

  1. I regret to inform you that by some definitions, you are, in fact, still a Rocky Horror virgin. You should come to the Shadowcast’s showing, whenever that happens next. Then you’ll have popped your cherry.

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