Irrational Masters perform ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ at the Egyptian Theatre


Caleb Johnson

The members of Irrational Masters during curtain call for their shadow cast performance of “Rocky Horror Picture show.” (Caleb Johnson | Northern Star)

By Caleb Johnson, Lifestyle Writer

People arrived in droves dressed in their most wonderful Halloween chic on Friday for the Irrational Masters’ annual Halloween shadow cast performance of the iconic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Egyptian Theatre. 

This year they are joined by the band SWEETIE

“It was a really good turnout,” said cast member Jessica Wellman, who played Magenta. “I was told we sold 650 tickets, yeah it was a lot. Usually, we don’t open the balcony, but we did tonight.” 

Contest and games

After a brief intermission, the Irrational Masters shadow cast was introduced with a catchy introduction song filled with iconic moments from horror movies. 

Then the virgin games started. In “Rocky Horror” fan culture, a virgin is anyone who has not seen a live shadow cast. Virgins are identified from the audience and brought on stage for a series of embarrassing tasks. The participants got a “v” written on their faces, usually in red lipstick. 

The members of the band SWEETIE were brought on stage and Birdy Vee drew on her bandmates’ faces as neither of them had seen a live shadow cast. Vee had joined the shadow cast, playing the role of Eddie. 

This particular time when the chosen audience members came to the stage, they were invited to act out different sex positions behind a red curtain and then strike a pose when the curtain was dropped. 

Afterward, Joshua Chesser the MC, also the director of Irrational Masters and playing the Criminologist, did a costume contest in honor of Halloween and the spooky season. They brought up three more audience members on stage. Then they decided which one had the best costume, with the audience cheering for the one they liked the most. 

The winner was someone dressed as a penguin. The audience whistled, shouted and applauded loudly for the winner. 

Movie showing

After the games, the fun truly began. As a fun surprise, the winner of the costume contest was brought on stage for a small scene at the beginning of the movie. 

The movie itself was very engaging. It’s a coming-of-age story about a newly engaged young couple Brad Majors, played by Barry Bostwick and Janet Weiss, played by Susan Sarandon. 

One night the couple is on the way to celebrate their new engagement with an old teacher, Dr. Scott, played by Paddy O’Hagan. While on the way, their car breaks down on the side of the road. This leads them to the mansion of mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter which leads to a night of sexual awakening and mad chaos that forever changes the young couple. 

Many of the audience members loved the spirit of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and the atmosphere it creates. 

“Rocky Horror has been a sanctuary for the queer community for years in the county and is a Halloween tradition,” said Cole Cada, a Sycamore resident. “It’s just a safe place for everyone, and to love.” 

According to Chesser, the group has performed for eight years. Prior to the group’s formation, the Egyptian Theatre contracted a shadow cast from Woodridge to perform for Halloween. 

“After two years of them doing that, well there was a demand for more ‘Rocky Horror.’ Our cast was born from DeKalb people who were like we want more than once a year, Rocky. So a group of misfits came together and formed the cast,” Cheeser said. 

By the end of the night people were still pumped for Rocky. 

“It’s been amazing. I’m hyped up. I love ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and this is my second time seeing it. Magenta is my favorite character,” said Violeta Shaw, a freshman art education major. 

Shaw was dressed up as Magenta to show her appreciation. 

According to Cheeser, the next show is tentatively set for February, but no exact date was given.