Film and TV

Barry Bostwick Will Be in Phoenix This Weekend to Celebrate 45 Years of Rocky Horror

Say! Do any of you guys know how to Madison?
Say! Do any of you guys know how to Madison? 20th Century Fox

Cult classic movie musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show turned 45 this year, and all these decades later, fans still gather to watch the movie, yell at the screen, and throw toast (it's a long story).

Nor have actors from the film left Rocky Horror in the past. Barry Bostwick, who played the straitlaced Brad Majors, has had a long and successful career on stage, television, and film, but still makes time to do special Rocky Horror events.

Typically, Rocky Horror screenings are held in theaters. Not during a pandemic, though.

“We’re reinventing how you see and experience The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Bostwick says. "Next season, hopefully we’ll be able to go back in the theaters and throw stuff at each other."

Phoenix will get a taste of the new format on Saturday, November 14. A drive-in screening of the movie will be held in the parking lot of Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. A shadow cast by local troupe Frankie's Fishnets will perform the film in front of the screen. Bostwick will introduce the film.

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Barry Bostwick
Super Festivals/CCby2.0
The cost is $55 per car for general admission, or $100 per car for priority parking closer to the screen. For an extra $60, fans can get a meet-and-greet with Bostwick that includes a photo and an autograph. Parking begins at 5:30 p.m., festivities kick off at 7:15, and the movie starts at 8. Get tickets and more information here.

We recently spoke with Bostwick about the upcoming event.

Phoenix New Times: What did you think of the movie as you were making it?
Barry Bostwick: I thought it was very cool. I came from the theater in New York where this kind of behavior wasn’t odd. It was right up my alley, so to speak. I had done Grease on Broadway, I had a history of doing rock musicals onstage, and I had seen this on stage with Tim Curry in Los Angeles, and I saw how powerful he was and how fun the show was. I figured if they could translate that on to film, which they were all so eager to do, I wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t feel out of place or feel like I was stretching my morals in any way. … Anti-establishment behavior was all the thing.

If you could pick any other role in the movie to play, which one would it be?
I don’t have a strong enough, high enough voice to do Meatloaf’s role. Everybody wants to play Frank N. Furter. I probably said to myself on the plane coming back from London in 1974, “Gosh, I wish I could have played Frank N. Furter.” Because he’s such a powerfully sinister, egotistical, narcissistic, man who is so over the top in everything he does. And what actor doesn’t like to eat up the scenery?

Did you keep anything from the shoot?
No. I wish I could have. They confiscated everything at the last minute. I would have loved to have been able to keep my high heels. Some people have been able to find some of the original stuff that was auctioned off years later by either the costume person or someone who actually stole stuff. I was very much like Brad Majors. I’m a pretty straight guy; I didn’t think of stealing anything.

And we didn’t know if what we were making was going to go beyond an initial showing, and then we were all on to something else. I think when this thing came out, I was doing a play on Broadway and I don’t even remember [RHPS] opening. It came and went very, very quickly, and I wasn’t aware of it until a few years later when people were starting to dress up and throw things at the screen and yell back at the screen and come up with witty things to say.

Why do you think people still love The Rocky Horror Picture Show so many years later?
It’s just a party. Like Brad says: “It’s just a party, Janet.” And ultimately, it’s sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, and what teenager doesn’t like that?

What can people expect from the event?
They can expect to have a hell of a good time. And they can expect that there’s going to be shadow casts who are going to act out the film in front of the film. There’ll be contests. I’m going to be there and I’m going to introduce the film. It’s just a big party. And if you show up and you bring your props, it’s hard to not get in the mood once it starts.

There’ll be a meet-and-greet with me. You can get your tickets online. I will meet you and greet you and sign something for you — a picture that either I bring or something that you want me to sign, and I’ll have my picture taken with you. It gives me a chance to talk with people again about this, because all the conventions we’ve done in the past obviously are all over with, so this gives me a chance to meet the new generation. That’s really who I meet-and-greet with, are kids who are in their teens or early 20s, teens, who come and say “This is my favorite movie of all time.” And I say, “How many movies have you seen? You’re only 13.”
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.