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Lost Flamingo Theatre Company presents The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Union in Athens, Ohio, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. 

Lost Flamingo’s ‘Rocky Horror’ amazes audiences after year off due to COVID-19

From the moment the audience walked in The Union, it was clear they were transported into a different place, where authenticity was embraced and inhibitions were lost. 

That’s the beauty of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: anyone and everyone is welcome to do the “Time Warp.”

Lost Flamingo Theatre Company, or LFC, knows this, which is why every year the group hosts a shadow-casted performance of Rocky Horror. Hosted at The Union, 18 W. Union St., LFC’s Rocky Horror is a longstanding tradition in Athens. 

Last year, the performance had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the show’s first time canceling since the fall of 2002. Needless to say, from the sheer excitement radiating through the cast and crew, those in the production and those watching it alike were more than ready for it to return. 

“The sexual liberation of the show after the pandemic especially was so freeing, more so than it was without the pandemic,” Makenzie Price, a senior studying communications who played Magenta in Rocky Horror, said. “People’s mental health declined, but people learned a lot about themselves and, because of that, they became more comfortable with themselves.”

That sexual liberation is clear not only throughout the show but also through the “sex museum” the group holds before the show begins, including games like who mimics the best orgasm, eating an oatmeal cream pie from someone else’s hands and switching clothes with a partner in the fastest amount of time. The sex museum serves as a headfirst dive into getting comfortable for such a vulnerable, sexy show like Rocky Horror

“I was not comfortable in my skin prior to the pandemic,” Price said. “I was not comfortable with my sexuality. I was only 19 years old, still so young. During isolation and throughout the pandemic, I started learning how to trust in myself and in my originality. I would never have been able to do this show at 19 years old but, at this point, I had become so much more comfortable with my sexuality since the pandemic, and this show pulled my confidence out even more.”

The show itself features a shadow-cast performance, meaning the film plays on a projector behind the cast while they lip-sync the lines and songs as well as learn the dance moves and blocking. LFC fully cast the named parts and came ready to party with a full ensemble.

In order to enjoy the show, people had to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to the show. 

The tickets were $10 for people under 21 and $8 for people over 21, and audience members 21 and older were able to buy drinks from The Union’s bar. Most of the audience packed up close to the stage while the rest crowded around tables and tried to see standing on chairs and on other platforms in the back. The maximum capacity was 250, and all three nights of the show sold out.

The audience had a wide range of age, all there to take in the show’s meaning and show appreciation to the people involved.

Laura Lawrence, a senior studying psychology pre-med track, had never seen Rocky Horror before but came because her friend was in the show.

“I’m excited for the atmosphere and to get out of my comfort zone and see something I normally wouldn’t,” Lawrence said. “I love dressing up and being in the audience of such a fun group of people.”

Patrick and Dixie Murphy were there to see their son, Jack Murphy, who was playing the criminologist. 

“I’ve never seen it here,” Patrick Murphy said. “It’s a classic and, more importantly, our son is in it. Clearly, we’re the oldest people here.”

Dixie Murphy had never seen it either but, like Patrick, was excited for the show.

“I’m excited just to see Jack perform again,” Dixie Murphy said.

That’s part of what the cast and crew love about Rocky Horror: it unites people of all ages.

“In the sexual sense, the sexual liberation of the show does unite people because of the oppression we have,” Price said. “Rocky Horror is uplifting for me and for others. It means more self-acceptance and less judgment.” 


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