It's an extra long Halloweekend this year in Missoula — six days to be exact, with something happening every night starting Friday and going through Halloween itself next Wednesday. Good luck trying to go to it all. Thankfully, the events are plenty diverse, with truly something for everyone, whether you like EDM or family-friendly chorus concerts. Read on for an article on this year's "Rocky Horror Show Live," and watch for full Halloween-themed events listed below.
For this year’s production of the "Rocky Horror Show Live," director and producer Reid Reimers gave the campy tale a little bit of extra backstory.
In the original story, a group of aliens come to Earth and disguise their spaceship as a castle that they live in, even though it’s in the American countryside of the 1970s.
“We’re leaning toward a more Victorian and dungeon feel to things,” Reimers said. “They got transmissions from Earth that were old.”
So the unsuspecting couple who ask the aliens for the use of their phone show up in standard midcentury clothing, to find high collars, ruffled shirts, bustles and, of course, plenty of fishnets.
“These aliens just showed up … and just found these old costumes,” Reimers explained. “Things that happen inside of the castle can be kind of timeless.
“A timeless time-warp, if you will.”
This marks Rocky Horror Live’s seventh year and Reimers promised changes for those yearly attendees, but not so many that the show would get away from its source material (the original 1973 stage production, not the 1975 movie version).
Those change-ups include the Victorian-styled costumes and set design, along with new leads playing the straight-laced couple Brad and Janet and a new musical director.
Brad and Janet are played by Hamilton Clement and Taylor Caprera, and the musical director is Stephane Gariepy.
Gariepy brought band members from the horn section of Shakewell (Tanner Fruit on saxophone and Nathan Crawford on trumpet) to join the band this year, which has Pale People bassist Kurt Skrivseth and drummer Mack Gilchrest returning. Ray Hamilton fills out the group on guitar.
The rest of the major roles are filled by returnees, Reimers said, with him as Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Jeff Medley as Riff Raff.
Dr. Scott and Eddie are a dual role, and will be played by a woman for the first time — Brit Garner, who has played Janet and Magenta in previous years.
Other returnees include Rachel Schull as Magenta, moving on from playing Janet last year, a move Reimers loved — he’s watched her go from innocent and naïve to the demented, gross Magenta in just a year.
Reimers said seeing those young actors take on different roles year-to-year and make the most out of them is one of the most satisfying parts of directing Rocky Horror.
But by far the most satisfying part is performing with a dedicated crowd, Reimers said.
The cast do four performances of Rocky Horror in two days, at 8 p.m. and midnight each night, which should completely wipe out a normal cast.
But Rocky Horror’s unique audience interplay, from singing along to shouting out lines, urges the cast along, even when it’s nearing 2 a.m.
“It’s an interesting challenge for the performers, but the audience brings so much energy it’s kind of impossible to get tired,” Reimers said. “I still leave the stage vibrating.”
The Rocky Horror Show Live will be Oct. 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. Tickets start at $33 and cabaret-style seating is available.
Cigarette Girls Burlesque will perform in the preshow. Find more information at logjampresents.com.
Disco Bloodbath (Saturday, Oct. 27)
The eighth annual one-night Halloween musical extravaganza will take place at six different locations this year spread across Missoula from downtown to the ZACC to the American Legion Hall off the Bitterroot Branch trail near South Sixth Street.
As per usual, each venue plays host to different genres of music, so don’t be thinking you can’t get down if you don’t like a full night of DJs (Caras Park) or bands playing dress up as other bands (the ZACC).
Twenty-seven DJs are spread out over Caras Park, Monk’s Bar, the Downtown Dance Collective and the American Legion Hall, with the Ghetto Gypsy Bus providing shuttle transportation around town.
For those more traditionally inclined, the VFW is hosting Thomas Cornelius, Rotgut Whines and Tiny Plastic Stars.
But the highlight of Disco Bloodbath is the costumed, cosplaying bands at the ZACC. You can see the Brown Stripes (The White Stripes), Vork (as electro-punk pioneers Suicide), The Fading Captains (as Guided By Voices), The Clutches of Catastrophe (acting as famous movie bands), Rock & Roll Girlfriend (as the Mummies) and … you get it. Check the listings, but, seriously there’s too much to go over here. Just know you’re in for an intense Halloween party.
The earliest music starts at Caras Park at 5:45, when T-Rex fires up the laptop and the latest show ends at 5 a.m. at the American Legion Hall when Jackson Lamar wraps up the party.
Tickets are $20 and get you into every venue, while VIP tickets (that include access to the Loft’s private DJ party, drink tokens and a free massage) are $100.
KBGA Halloween party at Fear Cycles (Saturday, Oct. 27)
Free Cycles Halloween parties are not to be underestimated: the costumes are generally great, the beer flows freely and there’s plenty of room for the UM Circus Club to pull of their tricks.
This year’s party, sponsored by KBGA College Radio features kegs from Imagine Nation Brewing and four bands, including sufficiently spooky locals Tomb Toad and some heavier options — Jolly Jane, Low Feet and Zebulon Kosted all fall in the metal camp.
There’s also a raffle to win a Zombie Tools Reaver Cleaver, which definitely sounds like something a drunk college kid should be taking home that night.
Entry is free, with donations encouraged. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m.
Choral Spooktacular (Tuesday, Oct. 30)
The University of Montana School of Music is putting on a family-friendly holiday show featuring plenty of spooky songs, costumes and trick-or-treating for the kids.
Featuring the chorus, along with guest artists, the show has a fun choice of songs ranging from Haunted House spirituals like “Witches’ Song,” a Romanian-Hungarian demon-repelling tune by composer Gyorgy Orban and a Michael Jackson medley.
Kids (or anyone) are encouraged to wear costumes, and children will have the opportunity to trick or treat onstage at the end of the show.
Children under 18 and UM students get in free. $11 for everyone else, $6 for seniors.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre.
Missoula’s favorite art house cinema (sorry AMC) has had a slew of classic horror movie screenings this month, showing a range of movies from horror don Stephen King including “Misery,” “Carrie” and “The Shining.”
The runup to Halloween brings “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Young Frankenstein” (two showings on 35mm) and “Beetlejuice” as well.
Tuesday, the Roxy’s also showing the stage version of “Frankenstein” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller that was taped in 2011. British filmmaker Danny Boyle directed the show, which had Miller and Cumberbatch swap roles between the Doctor and the Monster from night to night (the taped versions captured one performance each).
The night of Halloween, they eschew holiday-set picks like “Halloween” or “Trick r Treat” for that 1980 landmark film “The Shining,” which leads off a double feature with “Night of the Living Dead.”
Tickets to all Roxy screenings are $8 for adults, $7 for students/seniors and $5 for kids 13 and under (tickets to the “Frankenstein” stage play are quite a bit more). Find show times at theroxytheater.org.
In a Llama barn, in Midtown Missoula, there’s a place I’ll never go again. That’s the Missoula Haunted House, which proved too much for this horror-movie-loving college student who thought he could handle real-life scares.
This haunted house isn’t for the weak — creator Richard Davenport puts pressure on himself to deliver bone-chilling scares with a rotating theme, from “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”-style slashers to alien/zombie apocalypse scenarios.
This year, the haunted house is circus-themed, named “Sideshow Massacre.” Timely, given “It” grossed well over $300 million last fall.
Tickets are $15 and “Sideshow Massacre” is open every night through Halloween, excluding Sunday. Hours are 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends and Halloween night, and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.