Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

  • Photo courtesy Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Ball

The Imperial Theater, a little over 100 years young, is the place the best in Montreal’s live theatre, from comedic to musical to classic theatre. With its vast lobby, balcony floor and red velvet seats, this venue is the picture of class. Ironically, it’s also the host of the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Ball screening.

For three days in the final week of October, including Halloween night, one has the chance to sit in this very theatre, costumed or otherwise, and watch the forty-year-old cult classic film, while a cast simultaneously performs the events on screen. This show is complete with barely clothed people, loony props and all the sexuality one could possibly want in a lifetime packed into a few short hours. Rocky is what I like to call “sexual madness”… and it’s awesome.

If you’re lucky to be selected as part of the clean-up crew for the previous show, you get first dibs on your seat. Otherwise, you’re stuck outside in the line-up for a few hours before doors open. Luckily for me, I was in the former group. After helping to clean up the ridiculous amount of toilet paper, toast and cards off the floor and seats, my group and I sat down and anxiously waited for the show to commence. Fortunately, this waiting period was lubricated by classic hits: Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” and Men Without Hat’s “Safety Dance”.

Finally, around midnight, the show began. The cast of corseted, sparkly or scantily clad individuals took to the stage to perform Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and dance along to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and Sia’s “Chandelier”. The costume contest followed (because what would a Halloween event be without a costume contest, am I right?), hosted by the beautiful Plastic Patrick, in garters and an aviator hat. The costumes ranged from the practical, like Rocky characters Magenta and Riff Raff, to a flying Spaghetti monster complete with real spaghetti. Except for an unfortunate incident where Cruela De Vil was accidentally sprayed in the face with Sriracha sauce by an eponymous contestant, the contest ran smoothly, ending with Capitaine Trudeau crowned the first place winner, with second and third going to Spy VS. Spy and the Spaghetti Monster, respectively.

Then, after the cast members were introduced and the Rocky Virgins were “fucked”, the lights dimmed, the projectors warmed, and, for the next hour and a half, the theatergoers were swept away in the magic. No longer a Rocky Virgin myself, I am happy to say that my second time attending was even better than my first. I had no shame in singing and dancing along with the incredible soundtrack and throwing cards, toilet paper and toast. My favourite aspect of the show has always been The Voice’s witty commentary, which ranged from mocking the Criminologist’s lack of a neck and making off-color statements about angels masturbating.

I told myself last year that I would make it to The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Halloween night and I absolutely will continue to do so. If you are a fan of the film or if you are just in the mood to spend Halloween in the company of the zaniest people you will ever meet, I strongly recommend making your way to the Imperial Theater on 1432 Rue de Bleury and revelling in the tacky sexual extravaganza that is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I hope everyone had a great Halloween and remember, “You’re not to blame, Sue’s to blame!”

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