For the past several years, friends of ours have hosted a pre-Purim party featuring a screening of the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The impetus was straightforward: they love the musical and enjoy the “group” viewing experience, which includes participatory dancing to the “Time Warp,” newspapers held overhead while someone squirts water at you (to illustrate a segment shot in the pouring rain), and yelling out various bawdy quips at specific moments in the film.
Jody and I were in the audience (if you could call it that) this week. Everyone was encouraged to come in costume. Eschewing the de rigueur attempt at cross-dressing, we played protagonists Brad and Janet, dressed up in white lab coats during the scene when Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s creation Rocky Horror comes to life.
The evening was lots of fun, but I wondered, why Purim davka? You can have fun most any night of the year. And then, in the middle of Rocky’s big solo “The Sword of Damocles,” I saw it. The assembled Transylvanian groupies were spinning…groggers.
Yes, that’s right, the very samenoise makers that Purim revelers spin to drown out the name of the wicked Haman every time it’s spoken during the Megillah reading on Purim evening and morning.
I did a double take. Maybe these were just party favors. But there was no mistaking it – I’ve never seen anything like these particular types of groggers anytime except at Purim. Were either Jim Sharman, the director, or Richard O’Brien, who wrote the music, Jewish? Is the eerie castle where the soon-to-be-revealed aliens from the planet Transsexual reside really a metaphor for Ahasverus’s palace? The Internet isn’t saying.
Come next Purim, if you’re not too tipsy (or maybe better if you are), consider renting and watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show at your place.