A toast for rocky

Story by Emily Gresbrink

Toast, rice, and toilet paper flew through Council Fire like rain.

In addition to household items taking flight, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” drew in hundreds at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 17 in Davies. Dressed in outfits varying from jeans and a jacket to corsets and fishnets (sans pants), members of the community as well as students came to pay homage to the cult-classic movie.

“Rocky Horror,” now part of the National Film Registry, opened in the United States on Sept. 26, 1975. By 1976, it was being released as a midnight-only showing and attracted a cult following … and the rest is history.

Since then, showings of the movie have been held internationally ­— from twice-weekly showings in Paris to shadow casts in Los Angeles (shadow casts are where reinactments of the movie occur in front of the screen).

Audience members can play along with props and talk back to the movie. They can run onstage and dance. They can sing along. By the end of the night, even the “rocky virgins” (those who haven’t seen it before, or gone to a die-hard showing) know exactly when to call Brad and Janet by their slang names.

UW-Eau Claire has been holding midnight screenings of “Rocky Horror” for over 15 years.

Some of the guests to the Frankenstein place were “rocky virgins,” and others were well-seasoned veterans, such as Miss Dee-Lovely, who has been performing as Dr. Frank-n-Furter, singing the songs and shadowing the movie for years.

What is it that gets people on their feet in lingerie and heels dancing to a 1970s movie musical? What were they wearing? What brought them there? Take a look at a few students and community members who stopped in…


Laura Kawleski – Sophomore

Dressed as: Magenta

Favorite character: “Magenta! She’s a little bit spunky, a little bit twisted … but it makes it all the better. I love her.”


Alumni Taylor Hayes, Kelly Scherer, Amy Johnson, sophomore Sarah Moritz and Alumnus Alex Boettcher 

Dressed as: Party-goers

What brings them to Rocky Horror: “It’s our tradition — we go every year!”


Tabitha Tatro – Sophomore

Dressed as: “Half Columbia, half just seductive.”

Favorite song: “‘The Time Warp,’ because I love standing up, doing the pelvic thrust … it’s just awesome.”


Ari Kramer – Junior

Dressed as: Columbia in her bedroom scene

Summing up “Rocky Horror” in five words or fewer: “Cross-dressing and Tim Curry.”


Mikaela Schwartz – Junior

Dressed as: Janet

Favorite part of the night: “Well, the throwing of the toilet paper was fun … it hit my friend in the head three times, haha!”


David Hillenbrand –  Sophomore

Dressed as: A party-goer

Who would you be in real life?  “Rif-Raf. He’s a boss.”


What to bring to Rocky Horror (and when to use it)

Rice — throw it when Brad and Janet’s friends get married and again when Frank-n-Furter and Rocky get married.

Newspaper — put it over your head as Brad and Janet run into the castle.

Squirt guns (not allowed at Eau Claire’s showing) — spray everyone when it’s raining outside as Brad and Janet run inside.

Noisemakers — when the partygoers celebrate the “birth” of Rocky

Toilet paper — toss rolls when Brad exclaims, “Great scott!”

Toast — throw when Frank-n-Furter calls for a toast at dinner


What to do at Rocky Horror

Dance — when “The Time Warp” starts. Listen to the lyrics for details on how to perform the dance.

Name-call — whenever Brad and Janet appear on screen or Brad introduces them. Listen to the well-seasoned veterans for what to yell.

Sing along — whenever possible. Most commonly, the crowd sings during “Hot Patootie,” “The Time Warp,” “Touch-a touch-a -touch-a touch me” and “Dammit, Janet.”  Often times, “Sweet Transvestite” and “I’m Going Home” are performed by a solo act, dressed as Frank-n-Furter.