Orangeblossom Brambleburr writes: The Rocky Horror Ringer Show in Portland went great! We have a full recap with pictures on Bit of Earth now.
The event began slowly, and in proper BitofEarth tradition, with ticket sale issues. Once again, we’ve had difficulty with false sell-out notices; this is, sadly, one of those things that will happen when you sub-book an event with a theater. We have done as much as we can to counter it, and will continue to do so. This event, being such a short-notice fundraiser, was particularly vulnerable. Our apologies to the many people who were erroneously turned away.
The good news is that our event was more than two-thirds filled, and the crowd was more than rowdy enough to suffice! We had a high population of fun and energetic fans, all of whom were amazingly quick with the jokes (in fact, I think many of the fans in attendance had been waiting for a chance to yell out what they usually whisper to their neighbor).
The festivities started out with Orangeblossom as emcee, leading a virgin call. There were eight people who had either never seen the movie, or hadn’t seen it for more than three months (at least, there were three who would admit to such a thing!). The first contest was for three folks to do their best Boromir death scene. First went the youngest attendee, aged eight (who quickly acquired the nickname of “Little Boromir”), who eschewed Boromir’s big-shield-like-dinner-plate and turned forth the most realistic of the three scenes. Contestant number two was also Orangeblossom’s mother, who performed a very dramatic (and properly guilt inspiring) death. “You tried to kill me with your grades!” (arrow to chest). “You tried to kill me with your friends!” (arrow to chest) “You tried to kill me with your cooking!” (arrow to chest) “But the wait to get into the theater! That did it!” (collapses). Contestant number three (after thanking the academy) put on a very nearly endless, staggering, protesting scene, wherein her friend threw the arrows at her. The performance continued until Orangeblossom asked Legolas to shoot her again. Audience cheers indicated Little Boromir was the winner, and he was duly presented with the arrows and shield as his prize.
The second event was a contest for the best Nazgul scream. Two brave (if somewhat daunted) young women hashed it out with their most piercing shrieks, the first contestant walking away with an Eye of Sauron keychain.
The third and final virgin call involved three very surprised young women being presented with hobby horses and informed that they were now the Riders of Rohan, and would be expected to perform in two scenes as cast memebers. They were very brave, and were tremendously good sports, and the staff and cast were very grateful.
The calls done with, we announced the costume contest, judged by Bit of Earth Staffer and professional costume designer Vanadriel. We had an excellent turnout, although our runway dancing was cut off when the cd player attempted to consume the disc–evidently, it disapproved of RuPaul.
Still, the contestants put on a great show. First prize (a Two Towers
Aragorn action figure) went to a lovely Galadriel costume; second prize (Fellowship of the Ring CD cards) to cast member Legolas (who declared it to be Lembas and attempted to take a bite), and third prize (a Sam and Frodo bookmark) went to a young elf maiden.
Rules were announced (keep it PG-13, don’t throw anything sticky, wet,
sharp, or alive, and have fun) and the reels began. Trailers for Dumb and Dumberer and Final Destination were shown, to great jeering and booing.
Once the movie proper started, the wisecracks were fast and furious, as were great cheers as people saw actors they liked (particular shrieks for Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Sean Bean, and Billy Boyd. Surprisingly few squeals for Orlando). There were many references to the fanfic The Very Secret Diaries, Monty Python and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, among countless other Pop Culture remarks, as well as a sustantial
Arwen-bashing. Other memorable quotes included (in no particular order):
(as the camera slowly pans over Caradharas) Ok, we’ve established there are mountains!
(as Gandalf catches Glamdring) By the Power of Greyskull! I have the Power!
(upon seeing Faramir) It’s Diet Boromir! Tastes Great, Less Annoying!
(at the death of the first orc at Helms Deep) Oh my god! They killed Kenny!
(Sam: What’s that horrid stench?) It’s Frodo’s feet!
(entrance of Wormtongue) Sorry Jack, Chucky’s back!
(as Frodo coaxes Gollum) Here boy! *whistles*
(Theoden: Where is my son?, cut to shot of a flower) He turned into a
In addition to the great showcasing of geekly wit, cast members acted out selected scenes from the movie (as the movie played in the background). All performances were lit by a spotlight, acquired and manned by our Technical Specialist, Moerwen. Though it does it little justice, here is a description of the skits that were performed:
The Taming of Smeagol: Acted out by Mr. Frodo (as guess who), Shireling (as Sam) and Little Sam (as Gollum). Little Sam’s performance as Gollum (though she was dressed in a white bodysuit with a pair of underwear on her head, to mock up Andy Serkis’s motion capture suit) was particularly amazing, as she mimiced Gollum’s writhings to an almost creepy degree.
During all scenes of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas running through Rohan, our cast ran back and forth, up and down the aisle. Shopping Cart Bob (as Gimli) trailed behind our Aragorn (who goes by the handle of Snoodle Girl at The Prancing Pony) and Legolas (Christened Steve of Mirkwood, who joined the cast by showing up, in full costume, at our dress rehersal). They were joined by our last-minute Riders of Rohan, who bravely trotted their hobby horses down the aisle as Eomer appeared on screen. If this particular skit had any more Ham in it, we’d have had to open a deli.
At the pile of Dead Smoking Orcs, Orangeblossom crossed her eyes and stuck out her tongue to simulate the staked head.
In the dead marshes, our Frodo stood on a theater seat to do a dramatic face plant, then staggered about in blue spotlight as hands reached up to pull him underwater (well, at least to pull him offstage).
As the first Ringwraith appeared, a teddy bear dressed as a dragon and
tied on a string to a stick was “flown” across the screen.
The arrival of Gandalf the White: Our Gimli, Aragorn and Legolas cowered before a white robed figure, who finally cast off the hood to reveal Orangeblossom, sporting a forehead scar and a pair of rounded black glasses. Harry Potter the White was very nearly booed offstage. Blasphemy! But with much laughter.
As Gandalf summoned Shadowfax, a sparkly hobbyhorse was trotted across the screen.
Treebeard carrying Merry and Pippin after presenting them to the White
Wizard: Treebeard (really Shopping Cart Bob in a sheet, with a paper bag covered in leaves on his head) carried Merry (Little Sam again,
recostumed) on his shoulders and Pippin (Diamond) at his side down the
As Gandalf casts off his grey cloak before Theoden, Orangeblossom stood up in a gray cloak, then with a flourish showed it to be reversible. The cloak was courtesy of costumer Vanadriel and costume-wearer Gandalf, who we are very grateful to.
Eowyn showing off her sword skills: Our Eowyn (Diamond, recostumed)
matched lightsabres with Aragorn. Diamond’s swordwork was very nearly
perfectly accurate–go her!
On the Road to Helm’s Deep: Gimli and Aragorn rode hobbyhorses down the aisle, Eowyn walking beside Gimli. Gimli took a spectacular tumble off his hobbyhorse, landing offstage at th feet of a very surprised Orangeblossom, who’d never assumed that “a little shoulder roll” would be so spectacular. Don’t worry–in this case it was deliberate
Aragorn dreams of Arwen: Amidst the howls and catcalls, Gollum crept up to the screen and made a highly inappropriate grabbing motion. We won’t tell you exactly what scene, or what he did, but if you know what we’re talking about, you know enough.
Gollum goes Schizophrenic / Herbs and Stewed Rabbit: Little Sam, perched on the back of a theater seat, turned out another amazing performance as Gollum, then presented Frodo with a pair of oversized and cartoonish toy bunnies. Erm, coneys. Which Sam snatched away in great indignance. Also, as Sam discussed Po-Tay-Toes with Gollum, a potato and a box of Instant Mashed Potatoes were held up in front of the screen.
Oliphants: A pair of Beanie Baby mammoths on sticks strutted across the screen.
The Forbidden Pool: Gollum beat a small, stuffed dolphin to death on a theater seat before being lured up the aisle by Frodo.
Return of Aragron at Helm’s Deep: With much fanfare, our Aragorn was greeted by Gimli and Legolas, mugged a tremendous amount, then burst open the theater doors. Again, great quantities of hamminess, and much cheese to boot. The three of them together is a dangerous mix.
As the torch-bearing-orc runs toward the Deeping Wall, a valiant audience member (grabbed as our Orc, Milton, was unable to attend at the last moment) carried a flashlight down the aisle, running in slow motion as the entire audience hummed Chariots of Fire.
The explosion at Helm’s Deep: The audience in the first several rows was quite surprised to be showered with large chunks of styrofoam.
As Legolas pulled Gimli and Aragorn up the rope, Our Gimli and Aragorn staggered up the aisle, pulled by Legolas at the top row of seats.
Treebeard summoning the Ents to Isenguard: TreeBob carried Merry and Pippin down the aisle, then threw his head back and howled in anguish. Except that Our Ent was heard to yell “FRITOOOOOoooooooooooooooos!” Bob’s weird.
First Nazgul at Osgiliath: The dragon-costumed-bear did a second flight across the screen.
The Horn of Helm Hammerhand: Gimli (Bobli?) blew, with great style and enthusiasm, on a pair of PVC pipes wrapped in duct tape.
As Gandalf Saves the Day: Orangeblossom donned her cloak and Blasphemous Harry Potter glasses again and rode her faithful hobbyhorse down the aisle, accompanied by the three brave Riders of Rohan. We call this scene Gandalf ex Machina
Frodo offers the Ring to the Nazgul: Our Frodo stood on a theater seat and solemnly offered the ring to the flying TeddyBear/Dragon, until our Sam yanked him offstage.
Finally, as Gollum spoke eerily of “Her,” a small stuffed spider was waved across the screen.
After the event, most of the cast and a few others went to the International House of Pancakes for a post-show feast. No lembas was served, so Legolas made do with vanilla ice cream. The hobbits put away vast amounts of pancakes, and a good time was had by all.