Sunday, June 26, 2011

Show #60 June 25, 2011

This one's for Lolene and the cast of Rocky Horror Show!

Lolene- Mad Turks Cafe Istanbul
Gone Daddy Gone- Violent Femmes Add It Up
Ain't Got No Sense- Teenage Head Teenage Head
Baby Loves to Rock- Cheap Trick All Shook Up
You Rool Me- TPI TPI 7"
Moves- The New Pornographers Together
And Violets Are Blue- The Probers Mat At The World
Poor Girl- X More Fun in the New World
^Father Of Mine- Everclear So Much for the Afterglow
Anywhere Else But Here- The First Steps Anywhere Else But Here E.P.
Gimme Some Time- The Nerves One Way Ticket
Emergency- 999 Emergency 7"
Holiday Fire- Marc Thor Holiday Fire
Tigerland- Rudi Big Time
*Dad Said- The Tremblers Twice Nightly
*Daddy's Girl- The Secrets Titan: It's All Pop!
*Wait Til' Your Father Gets Home- Incredible Kidda Band Too Much, Too Little, Too Late!
*Your Daddy Will Do- Sloan The Double Cross
Opening Up- The Cute Lepers Can't Stand Modern Music
It's Only Love- The Lonely Boys The Lonely Boys
Tonight We Fly- 20/20 20/20
Sticks And Stones-- The Semantics Powerbill
Sticky Sweet Girls- The Zeros 4-3-2-1-The Zeros
Warrior In Woolworths- X-Ray Spex Germfree Adolescents
>Dear Dad- Chuck Berry The Anthology
Stepped On- Shane Champagne Band Stepped On 7"
The Backpack Song- Nerf Herder IV
Neck On Up- Utopia Utopia
(I'm Lookin' For A) Sputnik- Rick Rock Mondo Montage
Too Busy- Wreckless Eric Big Smash
Working Girls (Sunlight Shines)- Pernice Brothers The World Won't End
I Turned Her Away- Game Theory Tinkers To Evers To Chance
Outfit- Drive-By Truckers Decoration Day

^Power Pop Peak: #70 Billboard Hot 100 1998

*SacroSet: Father's Day

>Power Pop Prototype: 1965

As I wrote in the post for Show #22 seeing a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at age 12 was a pivotal moment in my life. I still don't know how my father heard about the film, though I suspect the TV show Sneak Previews had a role. (He always loved watching Siskel & Ebert fight about films.)

Dad, Cousin Rich and I first saw the movie in Brockton, Mass with an audience that made up for its ignorance of the finer points of Rocky Horror participation by going completely mental throughout the film. After that I started going in to Boston to see the Friday midnight show at the amazing Exeter Street Theatre. The theater occupied the former First Spiritualist Temple built in 1885, which is appropriate because, according to Wikipedia, one of the tenets of Spiritualism is: spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions (séances) are held by "mediums," who can then provide information about the afterlife.

The building was converted into a theater in 1914 but (thankfully) never shed its creepy origins as these pictures show. Anyway, by the late 70's The Exeter Street Theatre was struggling and the Friday midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings were the only thing keeping it going. It was an amazing show- live people performing on stage in perfect sync with the film screening behind them. It was here that I learned "proper" Rocky Horror participation etiquette: squirt guns, news paper, toilet paper, toast, etc. Dad took my sister Sarah and I in one night and I remember another where Sarah and I were joined by friends Frank and Jim along with my cousins Adam and Mary Lee from D.C. For suburban high school kids, it didn't get any cooler than Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Exeter Street Theatre.

Needless to say, last January I was very excited to hear Sonoma's Caps Productions had Rocky Horror Show slated to kick off the Sonoma Theater Alliance's Summer Festival of Theater. Another company in town had tried to do the show last year but the school they rent from had issues with the content and put the kibosh on the production. I have always wanted to play "Riff Raff" so I put together a demented version of "The Time Warp" accompanying myself on distorted electric guitar at the audition. The director Cat Austin put me through the paces on audition day and I felt I did pretty well. Almost as an afterthought, she asked me to read a few sides as "Brad" before I left. As soon as we started I saw something click in Cat's mind and I knew "Riff Raff" was off the table. In retrospect, I think she made the right choice. I've really grown to appreciate "Brad" and I love singing "Dammit Janet," "Frankenstein's Place," "Once In A While" (which isn't in the film), and "Super Heroes." The harmony singing and choreography are a challenge but everyone's hard work has paid off- it is an amazing production.

(Interestingly, this audition/casting thing has happened once before, when I was going for Dentist "Orin Scrivello" in Little Shop of Horrors and was cast as "Seymour Krelborn." I guess I have a deep connection with dorky guys who wear glasses.)

Before I got the part, I watched Rocky Horror Picture Show with the kids and I think it freaked them out a little. (I must admit it was very bizarre for me too, watching the film outside the live theater experience- for one thing, it was the first time I was able to hear anything the narrator is saying.) When I told the kids I was cast, Nica yelled upstairs to her brother: "Jack, Dad gets to have sex with a MAN!" My son congratulated me then asked that we keep pictures of me in the corset/fishnet stockings out of the newspaper. (So far I've been able to keep up my side of the deal, although there is a picture in yesterday's Sonoma Index-Tribune of me in undershirt and tightie whities.)

Jack came opening night and seemed to like the show. Nica not so much, but more due to the heckler than anything on stage. She didn't get why this guy was calling her dad "asshole" and the lady beside him "slut." The whole heckling thing made Nica so anxious Jaime drove her home at intermission. The heckler has been to most shows, driving 60 miles from his home in Davis, and, credit where credit is due, he's got the audience participation script and timing down pat. He comes in costume as Joel from 90's cable show Mystery Science Theater 3000 and even brings a small Tom Servo doll with him. I find the heckler annoying; while there is a lot of camp in Rocky Horror I think there are some sincere moments ("I'm Going Home," "Super Heroes"). The heckling makes it all seem like one big ironic joke though, and I HATE irony in performance. Even so, audiences seem to like the heckler so I accept his handshake every night when he says "good job!"

My mother and sister are coming out from Massachusetts next weekend to see the show and Nica's going to join them for the final performance. She'll be ready for the heckler this time. Rocky Horror Show's grueling six day a week rehearsal schedule has been a major imposition on my family so I'll conclude this post by thanking Jaime, Jack and Nica for allowing me to have this experience I'll never forget.

Here are the links to download this week's show:
Hour 1
Hour 2

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