‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ held at The Empty Space


Christopher Cocay

Magenta (Jaden Snow), Dr. Frank-N-Further (Avairrianna), and Colombia (Vicky Luck) re-enacting a scene from the 1978 “Rocky Horror Picture Show” movie.

Christopher Cocay, Reporter

The “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was performed by Velvet Darkness at The Empty Space theater on Oct. 6. These local performers reenacted the scenes from the film, which played on a screen behind them.

The performance had a Halloween special theme and the characters in the play dressed up as horror movie characters while performing the show.

The “Rocky Horror Picture Show” is about two couples, Brad Majors (Thomas Kennedy) and Janet Weiss (Haley Dodd), who get stranded with a flat tire in a storm, and end up in a creepy mansion where Dr. Frank-N-Further (played by an actor who goes by the stage name Avairrianna), a “transvestite” mad scientist, lives. The story goes with a lot of musical sequence.

The “Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a combination of sci-fi and rock opera, and around two years after the theatrical release of the 1970’s film, it became popular in the midnight circuit in New York City.

Kennedy, 37, has been doing the Rocky Horror Picture Show since 2002. When asked how long it took to memorize the songs, he said, “Songs are pretty easy to memorize. You typically memorize them by singing along, but for the lines, you don’t get the movie down at first but you will learn very quickly if you put a lot of effort into it.”

Kennedy said the challenges of doing the play were putting in different elements that aren’t normally part of the show. Since it was a Halloween special, the cast had to put on different costumes. “The Velvet Darkness is Bakersfield’s own Rocky Horror cast. I am very lucky enough to come in and out and perform with them because I live out of town,” said Kennedy, who lives in Hollywood. “I wasn’t around when the group formed, but I’ve been involved since 2005 or so, and I think the group has been around for 15 years now.”

When Kennedy was asked about the difference of the 70s “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and the stage play they’re doing, he said “The movie itself is the same actually. Some of the things we’re doing are exactly what they were doing in 1978. In some ways they’re exactly the same, but the audience participation aspect of it has evolved constantly.”