This article first appeared in the South Suburban Courier in the September,
16 1999 edition.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show began as an experimental production in a small London theater and was later made into a movie. The film opened in September 1975 and failed. Fox then decided to reopened the movie on April Fools Day, 1976 as a midnight movie.
More than 20 years later the movie has gone on to gross well over $150 million and has created a cult following larger than most rock groups.
The film it self is a science fiction, rock and roll musical comedy
parodying old ýBţ movies. The story is quite simple- two kids, Brad Majors
(Barry Bostwick) and his fiancee Janet Weiss (Susan Sarrandon), have a
flat tire on their way to visit their friend Dr. Scott (Jonathan Adams.)
They walk down the road in the rain, singing the whole way. They stop at
the castle of Dr. Frank N Furter (Tim Curry), a mad scientist / Ambi-sexual
alien from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. Frank
has discovered the secret of life and has created the perfect man, whom
he calls Rocky. Frank intends to use Rocky for a good use (his own.)
The castle is also inhabited by FrankÝs henchman Riff Raff (Richard OÝBrien), who has an incestuous relationship with his sister Magenta (Patricia Quinn) and their groupie in residence, Columbia (Little Nell.) As the night progresses, the couple find themselves in for many surprises as they learn things they could never have dreamed of.
So what makes this movie so special? Nothing. It's not the movie that's special. It's the people who attend and act in the live casts. There are casts all across the country that perform weekly. They spend hours laboring on their costumes, getting everything right, down to the smallest detail. They work for hours with each other on pre-shows and props. They think of new things for virgins (someone who has never seen the movie before) to do. Then on Saturday night, the night that Rocky is most often played, they get up and perform. They act out the movie by lip synching and dancing. They sacrifice virgins, spray people with water during the rain scene and throw toilet paper. It's fun it's safe and, above all, everyone has a good time. The movie's main theme is Don't dream it, be it and night after night these people are it.
One of the groups who regularly perform the show is the cast of Completely
Crazy. They have had their fair share of problems, been through several
theaters , and yet they have managed to stay together and are now the only
live Rocky cast in the city of Chicago.
Completely Crazy was founded in 1989. They began performing at the Prospect Theater, in Mt Prospect until the theater was demolished. The group then moved to the Mundelein Cinema until the theater was forced to closed. The group moved to the Des Plains theater, where it enjoyed great success until the theater was bought out. The group moved again and began to run two shows at once at two separate theaters: one in Chicago, The Village Theater, and at the Glenwood Theater in Glenwood. The cast of Completely Crazy eventually left this chain of theaters because of the management destroyed cast property.
The cast wasn't left without a home for long. They are now at the historic
Biograph Theater on the north side of Chicago.
The Biograph Theater launched the Rock Horror mayhem in Chicago during the late 70s and early 80s. The theater was sold out for four years straight, at a time when the theater seated 950 people. The line formed early, often hours before the show. However the dream ended to soon and Plitt Theaters bought the Biograph and closed RHPS in spite of the business it brought in. Now it has returned to the theater where it all began.
The cast of Completely Crazy features performers who have have been attending and/or performing Rocky Horror for almost 20 years. Some of them have performed around the country at several Rocky conventions including the 20th Anniversary Convention in L.A., and have won several costume contests across the country. Some members even performed for the Fox 32 World Television Premiere of Rocky.
The cast is also the first live floor show cast to release an album
of their own version of the Rocky songs. All sales from the record go to
benefit AIDS research. Completely Crazy also sponsors a canned food drive
on Thanksgiving and Toys For Tots on Christmas.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the cast of Completely Crazy can be seen every Saturday at the Biograph Theater, 2433 North Lincoln Avenue. Doors open at 11 p.m. and admission is $5.
Contact me at: ICNONECK@AOL.COM
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Pictures of the Completely Crazy Chicago Cast
The Official Completely Crazy Site
All Cast photos © 1999 J Ruiz, All Rights Reserved.