The Rocky Money Machine
Controversy is a money making machine in theater. Everytime there is a If you can get people talking about it, you can get people in the seats. And as my high school director always says, even bad press is good publicity.
As it is seen in any money making establishment, the optimal way to make money on a new idea is to get the young people to start doing it. Such a taboo show, they recieve a young new audience every generation because of the taboo nature of the show. Especially throughout their teens, youths and young adults favor the thing that is most likely to upset their parents or give them attention. For that reason, there are not very many young people that think the show is “ok”. They either love it or they hate it.
Huge success is continually seen from rocky horror show, from the cult following of the film and stage show that has remained a success more than 40 years after its debut. The fresh audience has allowed for this show to live on all these years. Many other popular shows are the type that people continue to see over and over again because they have such fond memories and they fall in love with a show. This show however is able to generate a new audience with each generation but the aging audience continues to favor the show.
Shows seen as controversial get a great deal of extra publicity from the people who are so against it. Being such an odd show brings in atypical theatre fans. Many people who are not a fan of most theatre or are not a fan of theatre yet, find this inlet into theatre very attractive. When most people think of musical theatre they think of shows like “Phantom of the Opera” and “Beauty and the Beast” or “Lion King”, these are the kind of shows that draw a very specific crowd. Rocky Horror draws a very different one.
Shows such as rocky, rent, west side story all cause controversy and that is why they are so popular. If it is the best way to get an audience into the theater it is publicity you cant buy. They are not many shows that rival the controversy caused by rocky horror show over 40 years after the show debuted it still faces critisism.
The rocky show includes homosexual desires, dragqueens, murder, adultry, transvestites they tried to package it all into one. Runs of the show are still shutdown for the risque nature. This show will continue to be a cult favorite for years and will continue to cause controversy. So many taboo features in one package, even as one becomes more acceptable in society there is a large portion of the population who will find something wrong with something else on the list of “unacceptable human behaviors and lifestyles”.