‘Rocky Horror’ to debut Saturday at Hippodrome

The characters from left to right: Magenta, Dr. Frank N. Furter, Columbia. This shadow cast will be performing during the 11:59 p.m. Saturday screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Waco Hippodrome. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

By Lauren Friederman, Reporter

A horrifying Halloween experience awaits those who choose to see the showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” complete with a shadow cast this weekend.

The Hippodrome will host a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” featuring a shadow cast, actors that perform onstage while the movie plays, from Waco Civic Theatre on Friday and Saturday at 11:59 p.m. The Friday night show is sold out, but tickets to the Saturday show are still available on the Hippodrome website for $8 per person.

“It was a way to expand our horizons a bit and it was a way for the Hippodrome to also attract a different audience than they usually attract,” said Waco Civic Theatre Director, Eric Shepard.

Guests can arrive as early as 10:30 p.m. to grab a late dinner at the Hippodrome restaurant and bar. The auditorium will open at 11:00 p.m. People are encouraged to come in costume. There is a costume contest which is $10 to enter, and the winner receives all the money from the other entries. Prop bags for audience participation will also be available for $5. Before the show is the “swearing in of the virgins,” to give those who haven’t seen the show before an idea of what to expect. The show will begin promptly at 11:59 p.m.

People who attend the show can expect a unique and interactive experience, Shepard said. He said it’s kind of a combination of karaoke, movie night and lip syncing which is part of the fun of it.

“It’s unlike anything else we do,” Shepard said. “Performing a film while the film is showing is a particular type of experience for people and in a way that’s part of the contemporary feel to it.”

A shadow cast of about 15 actors will act out the scenes from the movie while the movie plays, Shepard said. The audience will be encouraged to participate by yelling certain things at the characters on screen and at certain points the actors will even yell back. The goal is to create a two-way experience, Shepard said.

“On one level it’s sort of kids dancing in front of the television in the living room and on the other end it’s this multi-leveled, very contemporary artistic experience all at the same time,” Shepard said.

Dallas junior Kendall Evans will play Magenta in the show. Evans said she is excited to play her dream role. Magenta is very creepy and sarcastic, Evans said.

“It’s a lot of facial expressions and physicality because she doesn’t speak that much,” Evans said. “You just have to be crazy with it or it won’t come across.”

Evans said she is also interested in costume design, a talent she utilized in this show. For most of the costumes she copied the costumes the characters wear on screen, but in some cases she added her own creative flair.

“I found this muted gold and silver color sequined high neck dress and I just kind of made my own space costume from it,” Evans said.

This show serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Waco Civic Theatre.

“What we’re always looking to do is increase our production value in the theatre. You know, better costumes, better lights, better sound equipment,” Shepard said.

Shepard said a lot of the money raised will also go toward expanding children’s programming because it is the area they most want to grow.

“The more people we can reach, the more constituencies that we can somehow serve, the more effective we are,” Shepard said.

Shepard said he came up with the idea for the show in summer 2014. The showing was announced in June, and Shepard realized that there was a large interest in Waco, he said. He said he’s glad to provide an outlet for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” lovers. Although it could ruffle feathers, it is a 40 year-old tradition and Shepard said there’s just no changing that.