Rocky Horror Show musical hits the Salem stage

Rocky Horror debuts at Salem’s Historic Grand Friday. (Courtesy/Enlightened Theatrics)

“The Rocky Horror Show” comes to life on stage this month, bringing Salem a live performance of a cult classic that was written more than 40 years ago. 

The musical opens on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Nov. 3 at Salem’s Historic Grand on 187 High St. N.E. Tickets cost $25 to $29 and can be purchased online.

“The Rocky Horror Show” was written by Richard O’Brien in 1973 as a spoof of b-horror movies of previous decades.

Two years later, it was adapted into “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” that has become a yearly ritual, where viewers gather at midnight dressed in provocative garb, like fishnets and corsets, and are armed with props.

Salem’s version is slightly tamer, no audience members were dressed up albeit for a few feather boas, but it’s still filled with all the raunchy humor and sexual innuendo that are hallmarks of the film.

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For those who don’t know, the musical follows virginal couple Brad and Janet as they discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank N. Furter after getting a flat tire.

An eclectic cast of characters greets them as they enter the house. On stage, four “phantoms” act as props, forming into a car or door as the scene requires.

Furter, “a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania,” reveals his Frankenstein-like creation — a tanned, muscular man in gold underwear named Rocky Horror. Salem’s Rocky has long blonde locks, while Furter is clad in a corset, showing lots of tongue and maniacal eyes.

One of the more memorable moments comes when four of the characters – Brad, Janet, Rocky and Columbia – saunter out in red lingerie and Furter entices them to give in to sexual temptation.

The audience gets to participate throughout the musical, calling out different sarcastic remarks or holding up a newspaper when it rains. When Dr. Everett Scott’s name is mentioned, the crowd shouts “Great Scott.”

The experience is more fun if you can remember the reactions. Cast members are expecting the call outs and will often reply with “thank you” to the delight of the audience.

The musical was wildly entertaining, and if your idea of a good time is watching people sing and dance in their underwear, you’ll probably enjoy it too.

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