It’s safe to say that most fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show weren’t exactly shivering with antici…pation for Fox’s TV controversial reboot of the beloved 1975 cult classic. But now The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again has finally aired — and thankfully, it wasn’t quite the hate-watch-worthy horror that many people feared or expected. However, it didn’t have fans of the original seedy, sleazy midnight movie jumping (to the left) for joy, either.
Laverne Cox, stunt-cast or downright miscast in the lead role of Frank-N-Furter, did her best, and she even served some Grace Jones realness in her promising first number. But she was overall far too polished and pretty, in her Frederick’s of Hollywood/Halloween Superstore boudoir lingerie and MAC makeup, to convincingly play a nasty native of Transsexual, Transylvania. (Theater-trained rocker Reeve Carney, while certainly qualified for this production, was a bit too pretty to pull off the part of creepy-crawly handyman Riff Raff, too.) And speaking of lingerie, a very-ready-for-prime-time Rocky frustrated lusty viewers with his baggy boxer shorts, which consisted of about three square yards more fabric than the original, R-rated Rocky’s tight, tiny golden Speedo.
Yes, modern-day torch singer Ivy Levan’s stylized opening performance of “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” and Annaleigh Ashford’s wonderfully bitchy Columbia, were highlights. But in the end, this sanitized remake seemed like an extended version of that Rocky Horror-themed Glee episode that aired on Fox three years ago — not so much “Sweet Transvestite” as just plain sweet.
And then, Adam Lambert came crashing onto the screen — literally, on a motorcycle, through a castle window — and he put the “Rock” back in “Rocky Horror.”
Hot patootie, bless my soul. I really loved this rock ‘n’ roll. And this squeaky-clean show really needed it. Taking on the Eddie role played by Meat Loaf in ’75, a greasy, grubby, gritty Lambert — a twisted vision in dirty denim and bad-boy biker leather — wailed, flailed, snarled, snarked, and just plain rawked. For four gloriously gonzo minutes, Rocky Horror seemed a little dangerous again.
And then (spoiler alert) Eddie got knifed, died in a spectacularly dramatic fashion — and it was all over. Time is fleeting, indeed. It’s a shame that Lambert was offered the Frank-N-Furter role but passed, because his electric cameo just wasn’t enough.
Oh well. Let’s do the time warp again, and watch Lambert’s thrilling performance — complete with the pelvic thrust that really drives you in-say-yay-yay-yay-ane — on repeat.