Before you send a mob with pitchforks or send the dogs to attack, hear me out. It is not a remake, it is not a reboot, it is a brand-new take on a musical that has been around since the 70s. Rocky Horror Picture Show is a part of this culture and is a movie that has one of the most cult followings of any movie across the land. People dress in costume to see a movie that is over thirty years old and rightfully so. The music is wonderful; the story is a tad bit weird. Let me rephrase that, the story is really weird but the movie holds a special place in Americana. And let me add nothing will ever touch the original, it is a one of a kind movie. (Which you can see at The Paragould Cinema 8 on the 28th, 29th at midnight or on Halloween at 9PM. Click Here for more details.)
However, this is in defense of the Fox Musical version of Rocky Horror that aired last week. I want to start with the music. I think one of the things that makes the movie such a cult classic is the music. You can hear droves of people doing The Time Warp at midnight all across the country. The new version of the musical did something that it needed to do, and that revamp the music for the same audience and help it appeal to a new audience. The idea is that the show needed to separate itself from the original. This was not the original, and I think that is what people hated. It was not going to be the same as the original, and it makes believe that people would not like anything. The music was just iconic as the original with a new feel. The Time Warp having Tim Curry just made the special even more amazing.
Now on to the parts, I want to start with the best of the night. There was two that I thought if you were able to go back in time, and plucked out the originals it could have been just as great or even better. Victoria Justice nailed it as Janet. She was better than Susan Sarandon as Janet. I know, send the mob. First of all, Victoria Justice has a better singing voice than Susan. Plus, do not forget Susan seemed ashamed for the role that still is able to keep her in the spotlight. I would love to see what Victoria Justice could do with the original cast. The second stand out in this phenomenal cast was Columbia, who was right on par with her original counterpart. Annaleigh Ashford killed as Colombia. I think one of the highlights of the entire movie was when Colombia was asked about the lab, and she gave Brad and Janet the most perfect look when saying “I’ve seen it.” It was one of the moments that left the biggest impression on me from the Fox Musical showing
Brad, Dr. Scott, Eddie, Magenta, Rocky, and Riff Raff were all good at their roles. The portrayed their characters in a wonderful way but were not as memorable as the original cast. I did think at times Brad Majors was Brendan Fraser, whatever happened to that guy? He may not be dead but his career is.
That leads me to the one character that is going to get the most scrutiny due to the iconic nature of that role. Tim Curry will always be Frank’N’Furter. Which it was really nice to see Tim Curry in the musical. Now, first of all Laverne Cox surprised me. And I think this may be from having such a low bar set for myself going into this. She can sing, and she was able to embody the character. I feel that she may have had the hardest time compared to the other character compared to their original counterparts. I am not sure if it was just me or not, but it just seemed like something was missing from her performance. I will say this; her performance did not set transgender actresses back. I read that her performance was a disgrace to the community. I feel that it was the complete opposite. This move sends a message to the community of acceptance in the weirdest possible circumstance. Laverne Cox played a great Frank, just not at Tim Curry levels.
Adding the crowd participation was an extra added bonus that was wonderful. I loved the Fox special, and going into RHPS knowing that it was not the original made it a lot easier to watch and enjoy it. Why did it flop where the live Grease did not? Because RHPS was not on Sunday and up against an NFL game. And it should not have been on a Thursday. I do recommend watching the new special and go into it with an open mind and see what happens.