■ BY SUSAN CARRIER / Contributed
For the fourth year, the Historic Hemet Theatre will ring in the New Year with the 1975 cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Each year, the crowd and the craziness has grown – this time the event will almost certainly be sold out.
About half of the crowd will be baby boomers that fell in love with the film in their youth. Many would confess that they were among the fans that were drawn to the film week after week, dressed in outrageous costumes and makeup. The rest of the crowd will be a mixture of new generation fans and newbies, anxious to experience for themselves the insanity they have only heard about.
For me, the most important instruction is to avoid sitting directly in front of one of the many fans that will be screaming out the prescribed “callbacks” at the top of their lungs. The smart aleck comments are hysterical, but at close range the effect can be deafening. Sit within ear shot, but not so close that your ears will be shot!
Before the film begins, the “Shadow Cast” will conduct an orientation, with the proper use of each item in the bag of props at the door. Newbies are encouraged to come forward so they can take part in the traditional (and only mildly embarrassing) newbie ceremony.
Don’t be fooled by the name. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is not a horror film by any stretch of the imagination. It is a goofy musical about a transvestite mad scientist who designs himself a lover and a naive couple that gets caught up in the ensuing celebration. The film is just really strange, but the real entertainment is the audience participation experience that has evolved through the years and keeps fans coming back again and again. Keep in mind that the film is rated R. The script is loaded with sexual scenes with obscene language and the audience callbacks are worse. Many fans dress in costumes to match the characters on the screen (which are really bazaar). For this event, patrons under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children under 13 will not be admitted. (no one wants to scream obscenities sitting next to an 8 year-old)
Tickets for Rock Horror New Year’s Eve are $15 and include a bag of props with instructions. Outside props will not be permitted. Come dressed for the costume contest to add to the fun.
Doors open at 9 p.m., with newbie orientation starting at 9:30 and the movie starting 10 p.m. Following the movie will be a costume contest and a countdown to midnight.
Event tickets are available online at www.PurplePass.com or at the theatre ticket office. Ticket office hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are also available at the Downtown Deli, 113 North Harvard Street and the Harvard Street Music Exchange, 134 South Harvard Street.