365 Things to Do in Memphis #45: Do the Time Warp at the Evergreen Theatre

Posted by Holly Whitfield | February 14th 2012 3276 0

Get out your corsets, platform shoes and squirt guns – assignment #45 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis is to see "Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Evergreen Theatre.

Rocky Horror Memphis poster

The Evergreen Theatre has a long history of "Rocky Horror" screenings. When the play was written, there was a regional premiere at the theater, and when the film was released, it also played at Evergreen.

For the past two years, Absent Friends has hosted a monthly midnight showing of the film, complete with a rotating live cast of 20.

Rocky Horror Picture Show at Evergreen Theatre, Memphis, Tenn.

I went for the first time last Friday night. I had watched "Rocky Horror" in bits and pieces at home over the years, but I hadn't seen it in a theater. As a result, when Absent Friends ringleader Michael Entman called for newbies, I had to stand up and wait paitently for my turn to walk on stage and get lipstick V's (for "virgin") drawn on my cheeks.

Rocky Virgin

While I knew that there was an audience participation element to the show, I wasn't quite prepared for how involved it was. When songs came on, people sang along. The yelled responses to certain lines started during the opening credits. I was a little shy about joining in because I wasn't sure of the cues, but after I figured some of them out, I started yelling, too. And when the "Time Warp" played, I stood up and danced.

Rocky Horror Picture Show at Evergreen Theatre

The group participation isn't just vocal.  Per "Rocky Horror" tradition, audience members bring props (or buy them at the door) for the show: squirt guns, newspapers, toilet paper, bells, peices of toast. The Evergreen Theater doesn't allow rice to be thrown, so bubbles are blown instead.

A word of warning, though – at the beginning of the show, Trixie (the co-emcee) asks that if you're planning to throw things, you should throw them up and to the back of the theater so as not to injure the live cast. You should note, though, that if you're sitting towards the back of the theater, you may want to duck, especially when full rolls of toilet paper are flying through the air. They look all soft and cuddly, but they're not. Trust me.

Brad and Janet, Rocky Horror Picture Show Memphis

The Absent Friends screenings of "Rocky Horror" feature a live cast, meaning that the show is performed live on stage in front of the movie by a cast of costumed actors who mouth their lines. There's a definite DIY feel to the live cast, but their attention to detail – especially in their homemade costumes – is amazing.

"Rocky Horror Picture Show" is screened on the second Friday of every month at midnight (doors open at 11:30) at the Evergreen Theatre. Cover is $10, but if you want to pick up a prop bag, bring some extra cash.

Pro tip: Since concessions aren't sold at the screening, you're welcome to bring your own snacks and drinks (including alcohol, if you're of age). If you forget, you can always stop by the Mapco next door to the theater.

Go There:

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Second Friday of every month, 11:30 p.m., $10

Evergreen Theatre

1705 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38104

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. Kadye says:

    I can't believe you have never seen RHPS in a theatre until now! That's crazy! I go to the showing at the orpheum every summer (I believe the first summer they showed it was 2005?) and it's always great! No live actors, except the one time the projector gave out during the Eddie dance scene and people got up and performed it while they were fixing it. It's always such fun! I'll need to check out Evergreen Theatre when I need a fix!

  2. critter42 says:

    And there will be a special showing w/Absent Friends on March 23rd at MidSouthCon!

  3. Tessa says:

    The show is amazing!, this is the second time that I've went and I enjoyed every min of it. I was at the same show you went to last friday. I think me and my girlfriend were seated in front of you. 

  4. Ariel A says:

    I just went to the show, I have seen the movie at the Orpheum downtown before, they do the props but not the live cast. it was awesome.

  5. Sarah B says:

    I went the same night with @Ariel A. , i LOVE RHPS! these are some bad ass people acting a bad ass show !

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