ASHLAND It’s not unusual for actor Barry Bostwick to appear at a showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," but he said he believes his appearance in Ashland will be unusual.

"We had been trying to figure out what to do. Usually on Halloween, I’ll go out and do a few days of meet and greets, but because of the pandemic, none of that was possible this year," Bostwick said. "We were wondering, how could we still do it with the fans and everybody be safe?"

He said they contacted some drive-in theaters about outdoor presentations.

"It sort of hit the spot," he said. "It’s just wonderful because I’m able to talk to cars! The first thing out of my mouth is, ‘If you’re happy to be here, honk your horns!’"

The show at Ashland’s riverfront will give the Tony Award-winning actor a chance to see people face to face, even if it is socially distanced and, perhaps, through a mask.

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" premiered in London, England, on Aug. 14, 1975, and in the United States about a month later. Based on the hit London musical, "The Rocky Horror Show," the film featured many of the production’s original stars, including Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter.

Bostwick, 75, said he and his co-star, Susan Sarandon, knew the casting director, so they didn’t audition for the parts.

"We just showed up looking like ourselves, which was pretty much like Brad and Janet," he said. "It was pretty easy, one of the easiest jobs I’ve ever gotten and the best job I’ve ever gotten, certainly, on film. We were the quintessential young American couple in the eyes of the casting people."

His role as Brad Majors brought him notoriety beyond anything he imagined.

"(The play) already had created a cult fan base, but nobody could have anticipated how the movie was picked up by fans and small theaters around the country," Bostwick said. The cult following led to the practice of having a shadow cast and ultimately audience involvement, as will be the case at today’s riverfront showing.

Bostwick said Richard O’Brien, who wrote "Rocky Horror," called it a "modern-day fairy tale," which Bostwick said is true.

"The movie is about the loss of innocence, a reflection of society in 1973 and ’74," he said. "It was pretty cutting edge, but we weren’t the only ones doing it, from glam rock influences to fashion, (David) Bowie espousing the same mores in the same way and we just happen to click with people who fell in love with the simple rock and roll sounds of the movie and the look of it."

One of Bostwick’s favorite scenes required him to perform in a slippery situation.

"I loved the floor show, doing the kickline and I’m trying to stay on my feet in 6-inch high heels on a wet stage and still look like I knew what I was doing," he said. "It was a good time, except the water in the pool we were swimming in was freezing."

Not only was the making of the movie fun, he said, the continued outpouring of love for the movie and the appearances connected to it have been a joy.

"It has evolved into a big party and that’s what it should be at this point," he said. "I’m the guy who’s running the party. We have a good time and it’s mostly been with people in their cars. It’s a unique way to see ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ You have to interact with the film in a unique way."

(606) 326-2661 |

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" 45th anniversary celebration featuring Barry Bostwick, the original Brad Majors, will be at 8:30 p.m. today at the Port of Ashland, with a shadow cast and audience participation. For ticket information, call the Paramount Arts Center at (606) 324-0007.

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