At 7 p.m., a line had already begun to form outside of Crawford Hall in anticipation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and Drew Students were dressed to impress. It was Halloween night, and many seasoned viewers, as well as Rocky Horror virgins, came together to experience the show.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a 1975 movie based on a musical from 1973 where a seemingly ordinary couple wander into a house full of otherworldly, sexy characters and hijinks ensue. According to timewarp.com, it was initially a flop when it came out and only started to gain popularity when it was shown as a midnight movie at the Waverly Theater, located in New York City, a year after its initial release. Ticket attendants noticed that many of the same viewers were returning again and again to the same show and were slowly inventing their own rituals to go along with the movie. In response to the success, other theaters began to also screen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and the traditions spread across the country—including Drew University.
It is not hard to understand why “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has remained popular after all these years. The musical is subversive, fun and has a strong appeal to many people, especially those who are LGBTQ+ for its liberating themes about gender and sexuality. Plus, who doesn’t like doing the “Time Warp?”
Presented by the Drew University Dramatic Society, the 1975 cult classic was played alongside a student reenactment in real time. Tori Cavallo (‘23), who performed as Rocky in the reenactment, discussed the process of putting on the show:
“[The best part] I guess, was working with other people. A lot of it is partially improvised, so you can’t have a show without a good cast. I’m lucky to have a good board to work with and I love everybody on it.”
Indeed, the improvisation and enthusiasm were present in the audience that night! It’s tradition for the audience to participate and insert their own commentary at times during the show, and between the throwing of rice, toast, toilet paper and confetti, students created their own new jokes (alongside established ones). Whether you were a virgin who was newly initiated or an experienced viewer, everyone enjoyed partaking in the traditions of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”