“It’s just a jump to the left/And then a step to the right … Let’s do the Time Warp again.”
If the tune is playing in your head, then you know what you’re in for.
If it’s not, let’s just say you’re in for quite something.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” screening Saturday in Olympia, is the longest running film in continuous release. But when seen in the theater, it’s not so much a film as it is a phenomenon.
The on-screen action is enhanced and at times eclipsed by the live action — provided Saturday night by the Blue Mouseketeers shadow cast, which performs twice a month at the Blue Mouse Theatre in Tacoma.
“Inside the theater, the fans put on a better show than anything on the screen,” Roger Ebert wrote in a review of the film when it was released on home video in 1990.
By popular demand, it was brought back this year. A bunch of people asked for it.
Rob Richards, Olympia Film Society’s marketing coordinator
Ebert predicted the fan performances would gradually fade from popularity, but they’re going strong. There are shadow casts in many cities, including Seattle and Portland.
The Mouseketeers — who’ve been at it since 2000 at the Blue Mouse — act, sing and dance along with the film. The current cast ranges in age from 16-45, said producer Crystal Fornes, who’s been a Mouseketeer since 2006.
And, as it has been since the film’s release, audience participation is encouraged.
“ ‘Rocky Horror’ is the first and only true audience partici-(SAY IT!)-pation movie,” James Norman wrote in rockyhorror.com’s “A Virgin’s Guide.” (First-time viewers are referred to as virgins.) “People yell back lines at the screen during the extended pauses between dialogue, dress up in costume and act out the film, and throw props at various times.”
In the old days, audience members brought along such items as rice, toast, newspapers and playing cards to toss at appropriate moments. At the Olympia screening — as at many other current screenings — outside props are now forbidden, but prop bags will be available at the concession counter.
Sept. 26, 1975 “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” movie has its United States premiere at the UA Westwood Theater in Los Angeles.
It all adds up to a most unusual evening — at least in Olympia, where there are no regular screenings. The Mouseketeers did accompany the film at the Capitol Theater once before, about a year and half ago.
“By popular demand, it was brought back this year,” said Rob Richards, the Olympia Film Society’s marketing coordinator. “A bunch of people asked for it.”
But if the movie/performance opportunity is a novelty here, it has a long history in other cities. And it’s thanks to the performances at countless midnight showings that the film has remained in continuous release for four decades.
The film is a way of life for those who watch it again and again, and even more so for those who perform in the shadow casts.
“It’s a little bit of theater and it’s a little bit of costume playing at the same time,” said Fornes of Tacoma. “It’s a lot of fun to be a part of it.”
“It’s just so positive,” said Laura Brinkman, the Mouseketeers’ marketing director. “It’s good for your body image and self confidence.
“Even if you think you’ve put on a bad performance, everyone encourages you and tells you you did a great job.”
Both women had seen the film on TV before they joined the cast, and, they said, it’s definitely a different experience.
Brinkman, who lives in Des Moines and joined the Mouseketeers 14 months ago, had been waiting much of her life to see the live show.
“Years ago, my dad told me about this,” she said. “He said he’d always wanted to go to a show. He’d heard about it in college, but he’d never gotten to go.
“It intrigued me. I’d always wanted to go to a midnight showing. I grew up in the Midwest, and there was no cast near me. When I moved here to Washington, I decided I wanted to find one.”
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
What: The cult classic gets a screening here in Olympia, complete with performances by the Blue Mouseketeers, who perform at Tacoma’s Blue Mouse Theatre.
When: 11:30 p.m. Saturday, with doors opening at 11.
Where: Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia.
Tickets: $10, $7 for Olympia Film Society members.
Information: 360-754-6670 or olympiafilmsociety.org.
Information on all things “Rocky”: rockyhorror.com.
Also: Prop bags will be available at the concession counter for $1. No outside props are allowed. The Mezzanine Lounge will be open to ages 21 and older.