Are You a Rocky Horror Virgin? Andrew Altman Tells You What To Expect This Weekend

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It's been almost forty years since the debut of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. What keeps Colorado's Elusive Ingredient in business at this point?

Well the demand for Rocky has never stopped. The show itself has really gone through three major phases: the production of the movie, the glory days of the '70s and the present. When the movie itself first came out, it bombed terribly in theaters, but midnight showings were selling out, especially in New York and L.A.

The dress up part really came in the second phase. Legend has it that a woman named Dori Hartley showed up at the Waverly Theater dressed as Frankenfurter from the Creation scene. And the crowd went ape-shit for her.

Flash forward to audience participation. When did that kick in?

The very first callback line happened when Janet is covering her head with a newspaper and someone yelled, "Buy an umbrella, you cheap bitch!" And that's the kind of show you see now.

I saw my first Rocky Horror in Colorado Springs maybe ten years ago, and I was pretty excited when I heard you were planning a showing there for Halloween. What happened there?

Well, we were planning on taking part in a Colorado Springs Halloween festival, but there were some mishaps with planning. We're planning on doing it for real next year to several hundreds of people.

So what can people expect to see at your Halloween showings this year?

Well, if you're a virgin to the show and you come to the Halloween production, I guess I'd say that the show is very sophomoric. It's risqué, very burlesque and full of sexual humor.

What's the difference between a regular Colorado's Elusive Ingredient midnight showing and a Halloween showing?

We have to keep the Halloween showings very traditional, orthodox Rocky Horror, if you will. At a normal showing we'll have anywhere from 150-300 regulars in the audience, and we can play into all manners of nonsense with them. But Halloween's crowd will be people who have rarely been to our shows or they'll be virgins. So we can't fool around with everyone as much.

Take a show like the Big Bang Theory, for example. You know the whole Sheldon knocking at the door calling Penny bit? Well that would have been annoying and confusing if they had done that joke in the first episode. But now we're eight seasons in, so they can use riffs that wouldn't otherwise be funny since the audience is used to it. That's how it is with regulars and virgins.

Continue reading to learn more about what to expect at a Halloween Rocky Horror showing.

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Lauren Archuletta is a contributor for Westword's arts section, covering Denver's health and wellness scene. Follow her work for tips on cheap workouts and which yoga classes include mimosas and beer.