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Barry Bostwick rings in 45 years of 'Rocky Horror'

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To inaugurate the Halloween season, the RiverRun International Film Festival and Marketplace Cinemas have reunited to scare up something very special indeed – a screening this Friday of the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Marketplace Cinemas Drive-In Theater, lcoated at 2095 Peters Creek Pkwy. Winston-Salem.


What’s more, Barry Bostwick, the Tony Award-winning actor who who played the befuddled Brad Majors opposite Susan Sarandon’s Janet Weiss and Tim Curry’s unforgettable Dr. Frank N. Furter, will be on hand in person to meet and greet fans – per the requirements of social distancing, of course.


The screening will begin at 8 p.m. and tickets online.


The film, based on Richard O’Brien’s award-winning 1973 musical The Rocky Horror Show, is a colorful and kinky send up of vintage horror and science-fiction films with Brad and Janet the innocent tourists who wind up in the clutches of the cross-dressing mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter.


The film didn’t exactly light up the box-office, but a funny thing happened the year after its release: Theaters began showing the film at midnight screenings, and a phenomenon was born. Audience members would come dressed as characters, would talk back to the screen, and would literally dance in the aisles during the musical numbers.


A very persuasive argument could be made that The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t merely a cult classic, but the cult classic – a quintessential definition of the midnight movie. Its popularity has spanned the generations since its release.


Interviewing with Bostwick was interesting because there was a massive electrical storm where he was calling from. Somehow, the sound of thunder in the background was perfectly apt when discussing The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


“That’s right,” he laughed. “That’s the opening scene. That’s the opening number!”


A Broadway veteran who originated the role of Danny Zuko in the 1972 Broadway production of Grease (earning a Tony nomination for it), Brad Majors was Bostwick’s first major screen role, and he was excited about it.


“I had seen Tim do The Rocky Horror Show in Los Angeles with Meat Loaf, and I just loved it,” he said. “I was a big fan of it. Susan was, too. She and I knew some of the people in the L.A. production, so we saw it more than once. Tim was so brilliant, eating up the space. He brought a raw sexuality and energy to it.”


As The Rocky Horror Picture Show was establishing itself as a pop-culture phenomenon, Bostwick forged ahead with his career, winning a Tony for The Robber Bridegroom in 1977 and playing The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance in the Tony-winning 1981 revival, winning a Golden Globe (Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Television Film) for the 1988 mini-series War and Remembrance, exhibiting his comedy chops in Randall Winston, the mayor of New York City, in the hit ABC sitcom Spin City (1996-2002). He played George Washington in the 1984 mini-series of the same name and its 1986 follow-up, George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation.

Bostwick is currently working on a one-man show, Oscar, based on the life of Oscar Hammerstein II.


“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be in two iconic shows: Grease, which was the longest-running show on Broadway at the time, and Rocky Horror, which is the longest-running theatrical release in history, having been shown regularly for 45 years,” he said. “That is astonishing to me!”

According to Zack Fox, manager and projectionist at Marketplace Cinemas, Bostwick’s appearance is only one of several promotions tied into the event.


“The Shadow cast group from Charlotte will also be appearing at our Rocky Horror event,” he said. “They’ll be hyping up the audience and getting the cars to participate in the event. They’ll be offering prop bags, too! It’s going to be so much fun and a must for any Rocky Horror fan. As a fan myself, I’m almost sad I’ll be working and not watching with the rest of the fans.


“Our drive-in was originally built onto our cinema so we could offer the major Hollywood summer films such as Tenet, Mulan, Top Gun, etc. – but as we know, most studios switched dates around and the ones that did release new movies decided not to play ‘closed states,’” Fox said. “However, this only helped us and give us more time to develop outside-of-the-box events. Our drive-in has turned into a great venue for festival and special events: RiverRun nights, the Wreak Havoc Horror Festival, OUT at the Movies nights, and now the 45th anniversary showing of Rocky Horror with Brad Majors himself, Barry Bostwick appearing in person. I can already say we have more special events and festivals planned for the rest of 2020, and our drive-in won’t be going anywhere. It’s here to stay.”


Indeed, Marketplace Cinemas Drive-In will be hosting the RiverRun screening of Freeland on Oct. 8, as well as the Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.


For more information, visit the official Marketplace Cinemas website

and the official RiverRun website.

See Mark Burger’s reviews of current movies on © 2020, Mark Burger.

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