It probably didn’t help that Gardiner was going in blind. “I did not know what I was going to see. I knew certain songs from it,” but as far as the crazy costumes and rituals, “I did not get that memo.”
He has his game face on for the Washington Savoyards gig, although he admits, “I’m nervous. I have no idea what they’re going to do to me.”
Jay Brock, who is directing the Savoyards production, got involved in the “Rocky Horror” scene in Berkeley, Calif., right after his high school graduation.
“There was this girl who was two years ahead of us in high school, and she was, of course, so much more worldly than all of us,” Brock said. “I remember going to her house and having her do makeup on us. She had all this costume-y stuff that was the style of the show, and I remember she put a dog collar on me. . . . We were like her little slaves. We got thrown in. I think I was scared to death.”
Upon arriving at the show that night, there was a line down the street and around the block. “It was like a club,” he said. “I remember seeing this line and being terrified. [They were] the strangest people I’d ever seen.”
After getting over his initial terror, “I went literally every possible weekend for a year with a group of friends,” said Brock.
Michael Bobbitt, the artistic director of Adventure Theatre MTC, had his first “Rocky Horror” experience when he narrated the show earlier this month. “I took my 11-year-old son and his friend,” said Bobbitt. “They had a blast! And I think being able to curse in public with permission was appealing to them.”
Leandra Lynn, another guest narrator, is a cast member of the Sonic Transducers, the District’s only “Rocky Horror Picture Show” shadowcast (live performers who act in front of, and synchronized with, the film).
Lynn saw “Rocky Horror” for the first time at age 15. With her dad.
Despite all the reasons one might think it would be awkward for a teenage girl to see “Rocky Horror” with her dad — nothing says “father-daughter bonding” like singing along to the lyrics “touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me, I wanna be dirty!” — Lynn swears that the experience was “completely fine, because he’s one of the cool parents.”
Except for that one night when he pretended to be a “Rocky” rookie, and the cast pulled him up onstage to sing “. . . baby one more time.” “I was mortified,” said Lynn.