This Sunday we got the opportunity to sit down with some of the cast and crew of the upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show and had a fantastic interview where we talked with Liz Whenam, [a Phantom], Max Dansen [Brad Majors] and Dan Niznik, [the Artistic Director] about the musical. The catch was Sydney had actually seen the musical, while I (having never actually seen the Rocky Horror Show) was interviewing them based on what I imagined the play to be based on the title alone.
SW: How much of the production is just a front to get people to show up in fishnets and corsets?
DN: The entire thing.
LW: 98 to 99% of it.
DN: We actually work with the largest distributor of fishnets and pantyhose in the northern hemisphere.
SW: Do you provide corsets for the audience then?
DN: There will be some corsets for sale at the venue. It’s kind of hard to fit a corset though.
SW: So corsets and gently used fishnets for sale?
DN: Gently used: never used on legs
MD: Actual fishnets, used for fishing. For catching dolphins, specifically.
SC: There was a mixup. Went to bass pro shops by accident.
SW: Have any of you actually seen the RHPS, or are you doing this based on the Glee remake?
MD: Rocky Horror? I thought we were doing Grease. I’m confused?
DN: We’re doing Shakespeare’s Rocky Horror right?
LW: I thought it was Frozen on Ice
SC: There was a really misleading memo sent out
MD: But yeah to answer your question seriously, 100% Glee influenced. The way Kurt Hummel plays Riff Raff in that tv series he kills it with his beautiful counter-tenor. Just fantastic. It was a huge influence.
SW: Going off that actually, what’s a worse crime to men’s fashion, Riff Raff’s hairline or man buns?
All: Man buns.
SW: What about Riff Raff’s hairline with a man bun?
DN: It would be kind of amazing. We’ll talk to hair and makeup.
SW: On a scale of Brad to Dr. Frank-N-Furter, how sexually confusing (attractive?) do you find the Golden Words staff?
MD: Sorry say again, Golden Words Staff? [we point to us] oh, aha, I figured there was some sort of actual staff in the room.
LW: Total Frank-N-Furter.
MD: Oh attractive, you’re definitely a Doctor Scott.
SC: Is that a good thing? I don’t know any of the characters.
SW: Oh yeah, being compared to Doctor Scott is something you want to put on your resume. It’ll get you all of the jobs
LW:…and the girls.
SW: How offensive is your show to actual Transylvanians?
DN: Not really, but Christians, yes. It’s really fully representative of Transylvanians. We consulted with the Transylvanian embassy and redraft the script and take out all of the offensive words to Transylvanians.
SW: Are there any actual Transylvanians in the cast?
DN: We can’t talk about that, she’s not documented.
SW: Do you guys give yourself over to absolute pleasure? In other words, how do you schedule rehearsals after your marathon cast orgies?
DN: The orgies are choreographed. So it’s kind of like a rehearsal. It’s not even enjoyable anymore, it’s work.
MD: Lotta viagras thrown around. Luckily we can also go up to Dr. Scott because he’s the most attractive one in the play and just sort of stroke his wheelchair wheel and then everybody’s good to go. We should really sell that somehow and get him on the market. He could be like the pope. Just going around in a little bulletproof car and everyone’s screaming out: “I’m impotent”
SW: What is your definition of being it, not dreaming it?
DM: Full house every night. People having a good time. It’s going to be a good time. Don’t dream it, just come to the show.
MD: The difference between being Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neill
LW: I would just say Netflix and Chill
SW: So this is like the alternative to Netflix and Chill
DM: Yeah Rocky Horror Picture Show is not on Netflix so you have to come see the show.
SW: Do the actors engage in real life, live sexual intercourse during the sex scenes?
MD: Yeah even the people not on stage are having sex.
LW: The people that don’t even have sex scenes in the show are having sex
LW: The audience is also encouraged to partake.
DN: We have plants in the audience, just to see what happens.
Questions from people who have never seen “The Rocky Horror Show” and imagine it as a kid-friendly genre-bending theatrical debut for Sylvester Stallone as he resumes his role of Rocky although this time he fights for his life instead of for the American Dream. Mr. Balboa, (now 58) is off on a weekend getaway renting a remote cabin in the woods with his college age friends (it’s weird.). The gang accidentally trigger an ancient curse by watching a bootleg copy of “the Horror Show”. A horde of every silver-screen monster still under copyright emerges from the nearby lake. The movie ends with Rocky beating Godzilla by knockout after nine rounds. The two are shown to have become friends in a post-credits sequence.
DM: That’s really a new interpretation. It makes so much sense now. I’m amazed you got that much information out of “the Rocky Horror Show”. Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor, the conclusion with the least amount of assumptions is probably the right one.
SC: In the original 1974 play, how do you think Richard O’Brien knew copyright law would become such an important dialogue in today’s society with the rise of internet piracy?
DN: First of all it’s the 1973 play. [Note to self: stop researching from Wikipedia] I think he’s got a team of lawyers who planned the whole thing from the start. In the same way Pokemon is there to sell the toys and paraphenalia, Rocky Horror is there to advance copyright regulation.
SC: How much CGI is involved in the play? Do you animate Godzilla or do you like have three people standing on each other’s shoulders
LM: We have body puppets.
MD: We actually hired Pixar. They’re just sitting in the audience with their computers animating on the fly. They spend hours and hours rendering the models of each and every one of us. We’re not even there. We’re just doing the voices at the back. The audience is sitting there the entire time: it’s like a nine-month play, sometimes longer, because on average they take like 8 years to make those movies anyways. And the music’s actually arranged by Randy Newman.
SC: It’s modern art really. Is there anything weird you can tell me about Sylvester Stallone?
MD: He had so many affairs with Arnold Schwarznegger. Y’know the two manliest macho guys from the 1980s who you’d think would be straight as a boomerang- that’s not the phrase- are actually as straight as a boomerang.
SC: I’ve heard that Apollo Creed will be brought back as a Zombie – how do you plan on confronting the clear racial undertones of that?
MD: It’d be racist if we didn’t cast him. If we said oh “he’s black we shouldn’t cast him” well that’d be racist.
DN: We tried to offset it with a lot of blackface chorus dancers in the background. It all just cancels out in the wash.
SC: How do the boxing gloves work with godzilla (claws and such)how did stallone feel when godzilla actually ate the ref?
LW: We actually had to clip the claws of Godzilla, because they kept tearing the boxing gloves. He had giant boxing gloves fit to size.
The Rocky Horror Show is playing at Theological Hall from October 27th to 31st. If you have any other questions about the musical [the version with or without Sylvester Stallone] please go to www.rockyhorrorkingston.ca and that’ll give you all the answers you need.