Rocky Horror Picture Show! Live on Stage

Every October since 2013, the Gainesville community has come out to watch Frankie and the Pretenders perform live skits on-stage accompanying the cult-classic musical ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’  Frankie and the Pretenders are a shadow cast performance group directed and choreographed by Shay Smith.

Frankie and The Pretenders cast for ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’

Before one of the shows, we got the chance to speak with the Director, Shay Smith, and Assistant Director Tiffany Griffith.

Smith has been affiliated with the show since it was created in 2013.  Back then, Regina Kypriandes, proposed the show idea to the High Dive bar manager.  Once approved, Kypriandes and her friends scrambled to find other people interested in participating in the show. The performance received immediate success, creating what is now a Gainesville tradition.

This year may be one of the most important years for Frankie and the Pretenders. For the first time, open auditions were held for new cast members. And with performances selling out days in advance, a fifth show was added.

So, if you’ve never seen ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ with Frankie and the Pretenders, you still have time. The fifth and final show will be at the High Dive on November 1, 2017 at 8pm.

Director Shay Smith (left), Assistant Director Tiffany Griffith (middle), and cast member sell audience participation bags before the show.

But this isn’t a screening of the cult classic or just any live performance. Frankie and the Pretenders include audience participation in the show for an interactive experience. For only $1 at the door, audience members can purchase a “participation bag.” The audience participation bags contain a bag of rice, a newspaper, a birthday hat, three playing cards, a rubber glove, a noise maker, and instructions for how and when to use them. Even if you decide not to purchase a participation bag, there are still many ways for the audience to participate with the performance, and no one is forced to join in on the fun.

For those new to the show, upon entry, a cast member will mark you with a red ‘V’ to symbolize your Rocky Horror virginity. But don’t let that stop you, as entry also buys you into a judgement-free zone for the fun!

If you are unable to attend the final show for 2017 at High Dive, Smith also informed us about The Rocky Horror Show, a play performed at Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. The play is directed and choreographed by Shay Smith.

Just a quick heads-up, if you are under the age of 21, there is a $3 cover fee in addition to the ticket price. There are seating and standing options, but if you want to sit, it’s best to buy tickets early!

The ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ live action skit is a new annual event for the Gainesville community, and not something to miss.

So, slip on your favorite fishnet stockings and “let’s do the time warp again.”