July 29, 2013

rocky horror bittersweet.

last time i saw the rocky horror show i was 17 and i didn’t actually see it as much as i was in it. it was my second season as an extra during my hometown’s annual festspiele, an open air theatre festival which is put on every summer in the stiftsruine. now bad hersfeld might not be terribly exciting, but i think that the remains of this old church are magical even during the rest of the year and the festival is usually something to write home about as it attracts some of the best actors and singers from all over europe. being directly involved in it all only made it better of course. i was allowed to sit at the tables at the theatre canteen that said reserved for cast, spent long hours amongst my friends practising dance scenes, snuck around the hidden nooks and pass ways in the crypt beneath stage, and like any 17 year old with an odd affinity for men in speedos, i developed a mad crush on the actor who played rocky. true to the part his body was chiselled, his hair was as golden as his shorts, and he had the most adorable swedish accent – he only had to say the words verpiss dich! (which means as much as fuck off!) on stage and i was lost.
unfortunately i found out only in the later stages of my crush development that he was gay and in a relationship. i was sad for some time, but as it turns out not all god like creatures, who can sing and dance heavenly, are disinterested in girls and so i found myself in an at least outwardly steamy affair with frank n. furter. i say outwardly because even at that age i knew that it ain’t too hot if a guy stares more at his own reflection in the mirror than at you while you are both naked in bed. oh well, i did enjoy the attention it got me from my girlfriends and some free tickets for cats in which he starred in afterwards.

yesterday i went down memory lane as i saw the rocky horror show for the first time since at the fugard theatre. as much as i forgot most details of the story, i still knew every single word to every song and some of the moves and it felt somewhat bittersweet to be confined to my seat. if you ask me how it was i will be honest and admit that i had a hard time being objective. i saw a handsome rocky, but he didn’t smile like my rocky. i saw an alluring frank n. furter, but i wondered if he would still be alluring without all his make-up like mine was. brad was adorably dorky, but it wasn’t the same as knowing that the person behind the glasses is still adorably dorky once he gets off stage. riff raff was evil and brilliant, but nobody can ever be as evil and brilliant as the late peter heinrich to me. and obviously the background dancers had nothing on me and my friends!
i guess in the end it just made me feel a bit disconnected to observe and not participate anymore and i didn’t like that feeling. i always preferred the real behind the scenes, the being part of the something to just watching a perfect façade.  

having that said, i still think it was an amazing show and i highly recommend you go see it if you are in cape town. the newly renovated fugard theatre is beautiful and since it is around the corner from me i definitely want to see more shows there. they also offer an amazing bar service that lets you pre-order your drinks for the intermission, which people like you - as in all of you, because i don’t know any other kind of people - and me will highly appreciate.

the only real critisism i had, had nothing to do with the show, but with the audience - capetonians what is wrong with you??
where were your costumes?
your fishnets?
your wigs?
your garters?
your toiletpaper?
and men, where were your heels?

someone clearly didn't get the memo and as it was we were the only ones dressed up last night. and as my friend shaun realized – yes guys, heels hurt. but not only do they give you a new viewpoint from their staggering heights, but they can also make your bum look quite desirable at least judging by the old lady who pinched his while he was waiting at the bar.

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