David Zwiebel as Dr. Frank N. Furter

David Zwiebel as Dr. Frank N. Furter File photo by Nancy Radcliff

An Athens Halloween favorite is returning to Athens: The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Following a 2020 hiatus, The Lost Flamingo Theatre Company will present its annual production of the cult classic Oct. 21–23 at The Union.

Union owner Andy Studniarz said he was excited to see people back in The Union for the show.

“I'm excited to see how they are able to intermingle the cautious and the proactive side, and that overwhelming dynamic of everyone being so tired of being cooped up and having their life dictated by this virus over the past 14 months,” Studniarz said. “I'm excited for people to come and enjoy themselves.”

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" centers on a young engaged couple who visit a castle to make a phone call after their car breaks down in the rain. The couple quickly discover the head of the house is “Dr. Frank N. Furter,” an seemingly mad scientist who actually is an alien “transvestite” who creates a living muscle man named Rocky in his laboratory. The couple are seduced separately by Furter and eventually released by his servants, who take control of the castle.

Screenings of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" often involve heavy doses of audience involvement. In a live performance, the film version plays in the background while the actors mimic most of the actions onscreen.

“Something that makes Rocky special is the way the audience is really engaged,” LFC President Hailey Linenkugel said. 

LFC’s version also practices gender-blind casting, casting some women in male roles and vice versa, according to The Post.

“Everything depends on audience participation; it's such an incredible mix of talent on stage and off stage,” Studniarz said.

LFC began performing the show in 2002, and began at The Union in 2003. The troupe's professionalism is always inmpressive, Studniarz said.

“'Rocky,' for us, has been this really great partnership with the university and theater — there's some big shoes to fill,” Studniarz said. “The leadership has been so incredibly professional year in year out. The students are just at the top of their game.”

Patrons must show proof of vaccination or a negative test for entry, which has been The Union’s policy since August.

“The only way we’re going to be able to do live shows is by keeping everybody as safe as possible, customers, artists and staff,” Studniarz said.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 9 p.m. show. The show draws famously long lines, so Linenkugel encourages audience members to arrive early.

“A piece of advice I would give to people looking to attend 'Rocky' : to get there early — more than an hour early,” Lingenkugel said. “More than that even, if you want to ensure you get in.”

Tickets are $8 for those over 21 and $10 under 21. Ohio University student tickets are $7. Information is on the LFC Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/726525818745502/.

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