A midnight experience: A veterans guide for Rocky Horror Picture Show virgins

Fans dress up as famous characters Columbia, Magenta, and Riff Raff (right to left) at a midnight showing of the cult classic film "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".  Internet photo

Fans dress up as famous characters Columbia, Magenta, and Riff Raff (right to left) at a midnight showing of the cult classic film "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Internet photo

By Roxanne Timan and Ifrah Syed
Managing Editor and Staff Writer

Losing your virginity is messy, sometimes awkward, and life changing. In the same vein, losing your Rocky Horror Picture Show virginity is similar, but a lot more fun.

The movie is pretty absurd, but add an acting troupe, a half-naked audience, and a chaotic mix of callouts and prop-throwing, it becomes a whole experience that makes you shiver in aticip…….ation.

  • OVER AT THE FRANKENSTEIN PLACE: Although a lot of theaters present “Rocky Horror” year-round, Halloween is prime-time for the event. A few theatre troupes across the country put together the performance; in the Chicagoland area, the Music Box Theatre in downtown Chicago is the closest show to campus. 
  • TELL US ABOUT IT, JANET: Starting with the basics, your attire for the performance is key. If you question whether or not you’ll be charged with public indecency, you are doing it right. Fishnets, garters, corsets, and heels are some of the trademark attributes to the veteran showgoer, inspired by Dr. Frankenfurter and his residents.
  • DON’T DREAM IT, BE IT: Some choose to dress as characters from the show too, from men dressing in tighty whities and vintage glasses like Brad, to full on Dr. Frankenfurter in an army green lab coat and black perm wig. For the ladies, the options are pretty endless, with the main characters Janet, Magenta, and Columbia being the frontrunners for costume designs.

  • OH FANTASY, FREE ME!: If this is your first run, you are considered a Virgin. However, have no fear. It isn’t a bad thing as much as it is a badge of honor. Once you walk through the door, a doorman will be ready to smack a thick V on your forehead in bright red lipstick.

  • GREAT SCOTT!: Another main part of the event is the props. The list changes from each venue based on damage concerns, so going off of the Music Box Theatre regulations, the list excludes water guns, hot dogs and prunes, rice and toast. Don’t worry , the list is still large, including newspapers, flashlights, rubber gloves, noisemakers, confetti, toilet paper, party hat, a bell, and playing cards.
  • BRAD, DON’T BE UNGRATEFUL: All of these items can be bought beforehand at any drugstore, but the music box theatre also provides grab bags for three dollars at the door as well, with all the proceeds going back to the actors for costumes and props since it is completely volunteer centered.  The correct time to use each prop is available online if you want to be prepared instead of looking like a real virgin.
  • IT’S JUST A PARTY, JANET: If you haven’t already seen the 1975 film, it might be best to watch it beforehand. The actual midnight showing is unlike your regular trip to the cinema; yelling in the theatre is allowed, hell, it is even encouraged. A whole list of “call outs” can also be found online, including certain profane names for each time main characters appear on-screen and fill in lines to make the chaos even more comical.
  • GIVE YOURSELF TO ABSOLUTE PLEASURE: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is not for the prudish, but allows the general public to truly understand the quote “the freaks come out at night.” The Music Box Theatre will be running the show with the theatre troupe “Midnight Madness” over the Halloween weekend and the day of, Friday the 27th, Saturday the 28th, Tuesday the 31st. Each performance starts promptly at 11:59 p.m.. Tickets are on sale in advance for $15 on musicboxtheatre.com.