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‘Rocky Horror’ time warps its way to UNF

By Katie Gile, Staff Writer

Normal behavior at a movie showing means planting yourself in a seat, being careful not to touch any strangers and not uttering a syllable once the film begins.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is no place for normal.

Students shimmied into their fishnets and lacquered on the lipstick Oct. 21 when traveling troupe The Rich Weirdos brought “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” to UNF.

RHPS veterans and virgins alike were treated to a delightfully decadent and appropriately odd night filled with fun music, oodles of thinly veiled innuendos, daring feats — courtesy of a few brave virgins — and a barrage of F-bombs.

The tradition of behaving badly began in the late 1970s, two or three years after the movie came out in select cities to a less than lukewarm audience response. The movie would build some momentum as well as a massive cult following in the passing years.

The fun — and the cult of “unconventional conventionalists” — came with a heavy emphasis on audience participation, poking fun at the numerous extended pauses, corny lines and hardly Oscar-worthy acting.

This is the third time UNF has hosted the show, but this year, the Weirdos made themselves at home in the Lazzara Performance Hall.

Samantha McClure, a UNF English sophomore and RHPS fan, was happy with the change of location.

“It’s so much better to have it in [the Lazarra],” McClure said. “I could hear almost all the jokes and yelled some of them out myself. The show’s even better this year than it was last year.”

Not only did the change of location win the show some points from the crowd, but its very repetition every year is earning it a soft spot from milestone-loving Ospreys.

“This is becoming a tradition for UNF students,” said Vicki Asbury, a UNF business management senior. “I think it’s something that every student should experience.”

As a tradition within a forming tradition, the Weirdos call forth the RHPS virgins at the start of every show to perform the time-honored virgin ritual.

While the rituals change every year, this was one of their more scandalous and ultimately, highly entertaining rituals.

The virgins who dared to venture onstage were partnered off and instructed to swap outfits with their partners in front of the crowd. They stripped down to their undergarments to win the race, while the audience roared with laughter and cheers.

Nick Tillem, a UNF criminal justice student, was an RHPS virgin at the beginning of the show. He said he’s excited to come back next year when he’ll no longer be subjected to the ritual.

But virgins and veterans alike agree that having the Weirdos perform the RHPS sends a positive message about UNF.

“It says we’re very open-minded, which is great,” McClure said. “It shows we’re fun-loving and that we can enjoy ourselves and laugh at ourselves in a really free-spirited way.”

RHPS is another example of how UNF takes care of its students and wants them to have fun, Tillem said.

“It shows how awesome OP is and how UNF just keeps hooking us up,” he said.

Asbury said it adds to the list of distinctions separating UNF from other universities.

“It’s something unique that UNF has,” Asbury said. “We have ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ We have the Weirdos.”

Email Katie Gile at [email protected].

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