End of era for Rocky Horror, local theatre celebrates last performances

NEGAUNEE — Rocky Horror Show is a cult classic, and a community favorite. The Historic Vista Theater in Negaunee has had a long run of this humorous musical, but their sweet 16th production is the end of the line.

Rocky Horror Show centers around Brad and Janet, who are on their way back from a wedding when their car breaks down. They find a spooky mansion to seek shelter and find all kinds eccentric tenants, including a few transvestites.

For having such a zany plot, the show has fairly humble beginnings.

“Richard O’Brien, who is the author of the script wrote it in the 70’s. He was an out of work actor, he came up with the script, came up with it to keep himself occupied and his obsessions were those old science fiction movies, camp b-movies. He was also obsessed with Steve Reeves movies, which are the muscle men flicks, and really, really with 50’s rock and roll. So he managed to create a script that was a combination of all of those,” said Lee LaForge, Co-Director of this years production.

Rocky Horror opened for the first time in 1973. Maybe the reason it’s been so well loved for so long is it’s not quite like any other play you’ve ever seen.

“It’s about freedom, not only freedom of speech or freedom of dressing the way you want to dress. So, everybody experiences something different from it, but I think that they relate to it because of the freedom within it,” said Bobby Glenn Brown, who plays Dr. Frank N. Furter.

On top of that, the audience doesn’t just sit and watch. They’re encouraged to bring props to use during different parts of the show, and have lines to say as well.

“The audience really is the missing character. It changes night to night, every audience is different, but I think that’s part of the fun of the Rocky Horror Show, because the audience is so involved,” said Brown.

Bobby Glenn Brown found this out the first time he saw the play in the late ’70s. Since then, he’s played Dr. Frank N. Furter in Rocky Horror Show a whopping 13 times. He hopes that, if the Vista ever decides to bring Rocky Horror back, that he could have the honor of directing.

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