Get the full experience of Canadiana Productions’ performance of the cult classic, Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2019
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — There may not be another single movie or play that draws such a passionate response from its fan base than the Rocky Horror Show and its movie adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Around the world, when fans enter the theatre for either a screening or live performance, chances are better than even they are doing so in costume as their favourite character and are equipped with a small arsenal of items they will use to connect themselves to the show in a way that simply doesn’t happen for other films or plays.
“When it comes to Rocky Horror, audience participation is not encouraged; it is mandatory,” says Lee Siegel, Artistic Director of Canadiana Productions, the Niagara Falls-based dinner theatre company that is preparing to stage its 17th performance of Rocky Horror this Halloween. “There is nothing in theatre quite like the interaction between the audience and performers during Rocky Horror.”
For the uninitiated, Rocky Horror follows a young couple — the engaged Brad Majors and Janet Weiss — who run into car trouble and seek the assistance from the inhabitants of a strange house nearby. Little do they know chief resident Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter is in the midst of a maniacal experiment, with the help of his quirky staff and groupies Riff-Raff, Magenta, Columbia, Rocky and more.
But as a member of the audience, you are expected to do more than just sit there and watch the story unfold. To get the most of Rocky Horror:
- Be prepared to be offended. This is, after all, a story that features a pansexual, cross-dressing mad scientist as the main character and a lot of the costumes are variations of different pieces of lingerie, with sexual content and mature themes. It is best viewed by people 18 years of age and older.
- Get involved in the action. One of the draws of Rocky Horror is the audience participating. In the Canadiana Productions performance, if you talk to the actors, they will talk back to you. Unlike the movie that moves at a set pace, a live performance has the latitude to pause along the way to allow the shout outs to happen and the fun to occur.
- Warm up your vocal chords … and your muscles. You are encouraged to sing and dance along with the performers. Belt out your favourite tunes, and get ready to do the Time Warp …. Again.
- Come dressed in your Rocky best. From full-fledged Frank ‘ N’ Furters to Riff-Raffs, don the costume of one of your favourite characters. Or, at the very least, come in a regular Halloween costume.
- Expect to get mucked up. Confetti will be flying. There may be some water falling from the sky (during the rainy scenes, of course). Toast will fly during the toast in the dinner scene. At one time, it was popular to toss hotdogs, but many theatre owners frown on that practice.
- Don’t be quiet. This isn’t typical theatre show where your neighbour will give you an annoyed “shush” for talking during the performance. Talking is encouraged. For Rocky Horror virgins, follow the lead of those around you, or do a quick search online for an audience participation guide.
To assist with audience interaction, Positive Living Niagara will be selling audience participation kits that contain all of the essentials:
- Confetti — When the church bells ring after the wedding, toss some confetti. (But be sure to same for the next wedding!)
- Ring — When Brad proposes to Janet and she puts the ring on, you should do the same.
- Newspapers — Janet and Brad get caught in a storm, and shield their heads from the rain with a newspaper. When they do it, you should to.
- Water Gun — Use these to simulate the rain (and why you will want to cover your head with the newspaper).
- Glowsticks — The second verse of the song Over at the Frankenstein Place starts with, “There’s a light …” At this point, light up your glowstick.
- Rubber Gloves — Before Rocky is born, Dr. Frank-N-Furter puts on rubber gloves. Yu should too.
- Noisemakers — The end of the creation speech is welcomed with cheers and applause. Join in!
- Toast — At dinner, Dr. Frank-N-Furter will propose a toast. You should toss your toast into the air.
- Cards — During the song I’m Going Home, Dr. Frank-N-Furter sings the line, “Cards for sorrow, cards for pain.” At this point, shower the theatre with your cards.
All of the proceeds from the participation kits goes to Positive Living Niagara, which provides support, education and advocacy in a safe and confidential environment for HIV-positive individuals, their families, and their friends. This initiative has raised more than $125,000 for Positive Living Niagara over the years.
Canadiana Productions is moving its 17th performance of Rocky Horror from its Log Cabin Theatre on Lundy’s Lane to the larger — and more Rocky Horror-suitable — Seneca Queen Theatre in downtown Niagara Falls. The historic movie theatre is the ideal venue for the cult classic play, and will provide the perfect setting for its audience. There will be a licensed bar on site.
The downtown venue also creates a great opportunity for groups to make a night of it, frequenting a local Niagara Falls bar or restaurant downtown before or after the show for a few drinks and dinner.
Parking is available throughout the downtown core — including behind the theatre, at the nearby medical centre, along the street or at the old farmer’s market.
Rocky Horror will be performed over four nights — October 30th and 31st, November 1st and 2nd — at the Seneca Queen Theatre (4624 Queen Street, Niagara Falls). For ticket and more information, please visit ohcanadaeh.com.
Follow Canadian Productions on Twitter @OhCanadaEhShow, Instagram @ohcanadaehshow and Like it on Facebook. Check out clips of its productions on YouTube.
About Canadiana Productions:
Housed in the Log Cabin Theatre on Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canadiana Productions has been staging award-winning dinner theatres shows since 1994. It’s flagship production, the Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show, performed annually from April to mid-October, pays tribute to more than 50 songs by more than 30 Canadian recording artists while hitting on almost every Canadian stereotype. Over the winter months, Canadiana Productions stages other musical productions and annual fundraisers for various charity organizations including new Murder Mystery events and the Rocky Horror Show.