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So, here’s the thing: I’m not actually as sociable as I appear in public. While I truly enjoy getting out and about, and I feel genuinely delighted to meet up, schmooze with and …
So, here’s the thing: I’m not actually as sociable as I appear in public. While I truly enjoy getting out and about, and I feel genuinely delighted to meet up, schmooze with and photograph ya’ll having a wonderful time exploring the Upper Delaware River region, in point of fact, I live a fairly quiet life at home. I’m perfectly content to spend time alone and outdoors, with the Wonder Dog at my side, basking in the glow that is all things country life. I’m not big on entertaining and don’t care for surprises, so if you knock on my door unexpected… well, let’s just say it might not be pretty. On top of that, I’m a horrible housekeeper and my beautiful home usually looks like “The Wreck of the Hesperus,” as my mother would say. Feel free to look it up.
So, when I received a text last week from old friends Ryan and Nicole, informing me they had traveled from Texas to Massachusetts, were planning to make their way to New York and wanted to “stop by” at some unknown day and time in the near-to-immediate future, I freaked out. “I’m not great with spontaneity,” I texted back, “Where are you staying?”
“Well… we want to spend as much time as possible with you and Dharma, and we only have two days,” came the response, indicating their desire to hang at Camp Fox.
“Okay, then” I wrote back, audibly sighing. “Fair warning,” I cautioned. “The house is more than a bit disheveled.”
Since their travel plans were “up in the air,” but included a desire to do some Halloween-inspired things, they informed me that a trip to Salem, MA was in the works. I suggested they stop in Sleepy Hollow, NY where they could find haunted hayrides, Gothic mansions, blazing pumpkins and, of course, Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman. “Oh, that sounds great!” was the response. “We’re heading in your direction.”
“We’re close to Sleepy Hollow,” a fresh message declared the next morning, “and since that’s only 20 minutes from your place, we’ll see you this afternoon.” Perplexed, I wrote back, panic rising as I scanned the flotsam and jetsam that I now call décor. Calling Ryan for an ETA, he answered on the first ring. “Dude, there’s nothing here. We’re at Sleepy Hollow, but I don’t see the Headless Horseman. I’m sending you my GPS location.”
Confused, I looked and laughed. “Um… you’re in Monticello, at the Sleepy Hollow apartment complex, not a Gothic mansion. Wow, man,” I said. “I have some plans to adjust. See you soon.”
In full-blown panic mode, I placed a call to Franklin Trapp (www.fbplayhouse.org) and pleaded. “I’m sure it’s been sold out for weeks,” I said, referring to the theatre’s wildly popular production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show Live on Stage,” which thrills enthusiastic fans annually at the Forestburgh Tavern. “But can you find room for me, two unexpected guests and a dog?” The show, based on the 1975 film that spawned a cult following, centers on a young couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. They discover the head of the house is Dr. Frank N. Furter, an apparently mad scientist who is actually is an alien transvestite in the process of creating a living muscle man in his laboratory. The couple are seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control.
Today, more than 40 years later, you can find “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (live, or on screen) in most states and many countries spanning the globe. Rocky and his coterie of alien misfits continue to attract folks who have never been (affectionately known as “The Virgins”), and die-hard fans who dress up as all of the naughty, bawdy characters and re-enact the show as it plays out, interacting with the cast, often in costumes and with props that correlate with the action playing out on stage. I didn’t tell my guests where we were going and insisted on driving so that they would feel free to imbibe. “Yes, there’s a bar,” I said, “and we’ll have something to eat there, too. Fasten your seatbelts.” I warned. “It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
As we steered into the lot, a party bus pulled up alongside, and the jig was up. Filled with folks stepping out in full regalia, cocktails at the ready, Ryan and Nicole looked nervous. “Welcome to Rocky Horror,” I said as they stood gaping at the scene unfolding before our eyes. “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
The musical features some fantastic, frenetic, outrageous performances. I must give major props to Clark Helman (Rocky), Dylan Goike (Brad), Marina Laurendi (Janet), Abbey Sierakowski (Magenta) and Faith Fryer (Columbia). The show rests (IMHO) solely on the shoulders of whomever is playing the mad doctor; the original, Tim Curry, has left an indelible mark on the role and really big high-heeled shoes to fill. In the Forestburgh Tavern’s incarnation, Andrew Cuccaro struts his stuff with an amazing vocal range, sizzling sexiness, attitude and swagger to match. Well done, doctor, well done.
Planning to just stop by and knock on my door? I’d think twice… and then, once more.