The Stage Play it Always Should Have Been
By Dana Hammer
If you’re reading an article on a theater website, I will assume that you are not so
uncultured as to be unaware of “The Rocky Horror Show.” This classic tale of a
straight-laced couple who happen upon a mansion full of wild sexual shenanigans is a
classic for a reason — it’s a hell of a lot of fun. We all remember our first time seeing a
midnight “Rocky Horror” showing — the campy costumes, the throwing of toast, the extra
lines shouted at just the right time by audience members. And though the performances
in the film are iconic, and wonderful, the fact remains — performers on a screen don’t
interact with you. Which is why a live theatrical adaptation of the story is the perfect bit
of entertainment we have deserved all along.
This will be The Maverick’s sixth time presenting “The Rocky Horror Show” at this
venue. According to Brian Newell of the Maverick — “This will be the 6th time I’ve
staged the show. My first time was 20 years ago when I first started the Maverick. We
were the first theater in OC to ever stage the musical. I cast a 20 yr old,
Dennis Tong as Frank-n-ferter. Dennis has done every production. When I relocated the
Maverick from the Block at Orange to downtown Fullerton in 2005 I re-opened the
theater with ‘Rocky Horror’ and we performed it every Saturday night at midnight for 6
I myself have seen one of the Maverick’s productions of “The Rocky Horror Show”, and I can attest that it’s a high-energy, fun piece of theater. However, it is important to know that sometimes the other audience members may not dress up for the performance. I came dressed in full Magenta costume — trashy French maid dress, heavy makeup, fishnets and all — and everyone else was dressed for brunch at the country club. I understand that live theater is typically a classy affair, and we want to dress respectfully to honor the art form — but come on, folks. It’s “Rocky Horror!”
The beauty of live theater is that you never see the same show twice. There will always
be slight differences in line delivery, costumes, audience reactions and timing. Each
performance is a living, breathing, wild piece of art. “The Rocky Horror Show” — with
its kitschy, campy, raunchiness — demands this kind of breathing room. That’s why
movie audiences have ad-libbed and yelled and danced it into the interactive piece that
we all know and love. It always should have been a play, and in our hearts, we have
known that all along.
Come see “The Rocky Horror Show” at the Maverick, the way it should be seen.
And you know what? If you want to dress up in costume, do it! Don’t hide your freak flag
in the closet. What would Doctor Frankenfurter say?
Dana Hammer is the author of the horror novel, The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting. She writes plays, screenplays, novels and short stories. She lives in Anaheim. She likes roller coasters. She hates rides that spin.
‘Rocky Horror Show’
110 E. Walnut Ave. Unit B, Fullerton, CA 92832
March 10 - April 29, 2023