The Rocky Horror Show is a stage musical which started it all, created by Richard O'Brien (writer of the book, music, and lyrics). It first opened in London on June 19th, 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, a tiny 60-seat venue. After a very successful four weeks, it transferred to the Chelsea Classic Cinema and then other locations for an initial run of 2,960 performances in London through 1980.
It also had a highly successful American run at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, produced by Lou Adler and featuring both Tim Curry as Frank and Meat Loaf as Eddie/Dr. Scott. Many members of the original London cast were also involved in the film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The Usherette, sometimes referred to as "Trixie", who works in a derelict cinema, introduces tonight's "film" in a song ("Science Fiction/Double Feature"), with masked Phantoms providing the backing vocals.
After attending the wedding of his best friend since high school (Ralph Hapschatt, now married to Janet Weiss' friend Betty Munroe), Brad Majors confesses his love to Janet Weiss ("Dammit Janet") and the two become engaged. The Narrator appears and explains that Brad and Janet are leaving Denton to visit Dr Everett Scott, their former science tutor, while driving into a rainstorm. During the trip, their car has a flat tire and they are forced to walk through the rain to seek a telephone in an old castle ("There's A Light").
The Narrator explains that Brad and Janet are feeling "apprehensive and uneasy," but must accept any help that they are offered. As Brad and Janet arrive, Riff Raff, the hunchbacked handyman and live-in butler, greets them, and his sister Magenta, the maid, appears. Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia (a groupie) speak briefly of an unlucky delivery boy named Eddie who fell victim to unfortunate circumstances because he botched a delivery, before performing the show's signature dance number ("The Time Warp"*). Brad and Janet try to leave at this point, but are stopped when Dr Frank N. Furter, a pansexual, cross-dressing mad scientist, arrives. He introduces himself as "a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" and invites Brad and Janet up to his laboratory ("Sweet Transvestite"). As he goes up, Brad and Janet are stripped to their underwear to dry off.
Brad and Janet enter the laboratory, where Frank N. Furter gives them laboratory coats to wear. Frank announces that he has discovered the secret to life itself. He unveils his creation, a blond, well-built man named Rocky Horror, who is brought to life. As his bandages are removed, Rocky worries about his predicament ("The Sword of Damocles"). Frank admires Rocky's physique by singing a tribute to muscle builders ("Charles Atlas Song"/"I Can Make You a Man"**). A Coca-Cola freezer in the laboratory opens to reveal Frank and Columbia's former lover, Eddie, a biker covered in surgical scars, who has been rendered a (slightly more) brain-damaged zombie, intent on rescuing Columbia, and escaping the castle while successfully causing large amounts of damage to Frank's laboratory, exhibiting signs of partially returning memory of the way he lived life in the past ("Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul"). Frank panics, forces Eddie back into the freezer and hacks him to death (his weapon of choice typically being a pick axe or chainsaw). Frank tells Rocky — the recipient of the other half of Eddie's brain — that he prefers him over Eddie ("Charles Atlas Song (Reprise)"/"I Can Make You a Man (Reprise)"**), as although he and Eddie had a strong mental relationship, he had no muscle, and therefore, had to go. Brad and Janet, somewhat flustered after witnessing the re-murdering of Eddie, are then ushered to separate bedrooms for the night.
The Narrator foreshadows that Brad and Janet may be unsafe. Janet enjoys Brad's advances in her darkened bedroom before realizing that it is Frank in disguise. He convinces Janet that pleasure is no crime, and after she asks him to promise not to tell Brad, they resume their lovemaking. The scene changes to Brad's darkened bedroom, where Brad makes love to Janet before discovering that, once again, it is Frank in disguise. Frank promises not to tell Janet, but as they resume, Riff Raff interrupts on the television monitor with the message that Rocky has escaped. Janet searches for Brad in the laboratory and discovers Rocky hiding there. Checking the television monitor, Janet sees Brad in bed with Frank and seduces Rocky ("Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me"). While searching the television monitor for Rocky, the rest of the group discovers that Janet has slept with him and Brad becomes hurt and angry ("Once in a While"). Riff Raff then notifies Frank that there is another visitor entering the castle: Dr. Everett Scott, the paraplegic science tutor whom Brad and Janet intended to visit.
Dr Scott is pushed into the laboratory by Columbia where Frank accuses him and Brad of trying to investigate his castle, knowing that Dr Scott has connections with the FBI. Dr Scott assures him that he has come in search of Eddie, who is revealed to be his nephew ("Eddie's Teddy"). Frank displays Eddie's corpse to the group and then uses a device to electronically restrain the three visitors and a rebellious Rocky to the floor ("Planet Schmanet Janet"); the inhabitants of the castle are revealed to be space aliens led by Frank, who abandoned their original mission in order to engage in kinky sex with Earthlings and work on Rocky. Magenta insists that they return to their home planet now that they have been found out; Frank refuses and, instead, declares his intentions to put on a "floor show".
Under Frank's influence, Columbia, Rocky, Brad, and Janet perform song and dance routines while clad in lingerie ("Rose Tint My World (Floor Show)"). After, Frank entices them to lose all inhibition and give in to their natural carnal instincts, resulting in everyone beginning to engage in orgiastic sex ("Don't Dream It – Be It") before Frank leads them into the rousing concluding number of the floor show ("Wild and Untamed Thing"). The show comes to an abrupt end when Riff Raff and Magenta enter, wearing spacesuits and carrying ray guns. Riff Raff declares that he is usurping Frank's authority and taking them all back to their home planet ("Transit Beam"). Frank makes a final plea for sympathy from Riff Raff, trying to make him understand his desire to spend the rest of his life having sex with Earthlings ("I'm Going Home"). Riff Raff is unmoved and guns down Columbia, Frank, and Rocky before ordering Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott to leave.
As the trio evacuates the castle, Riff Raff and Magenta express their excitement to return to their world and do the "Time Warp" again with their fellow Transylvanians ("Spaceship"). Brad and Janet watch as the castle blasts off into outer space, confused about the implications of their sexual escapades ("Super Heroes"). To conclude his tale, the Narrator says "and crawling on the planet's face, insects called the human race, lost in time, and lost in space – and meaning." As the show ends, The Usherette returns to recount the night's events ("Science Fiction/Double Feature (Reprise)").
- Dr. Frank-N-Furter: Tim Curry
- Magenta/Usherette: Patricia Quinn
- Riff Raff: Richard O'Brien
- Columbia: Little Nell Campbell
- Janet Weiss: Julie Covington
- Brad Majors: Christopher Malcolm
- Dr. Scott/Eddie: Patty O'Hagen
- Rocky Horror: Rayner Bourton
- Narrator: Jonathan Adams
Music that appears in the 1973 Original London Cast Recording:
- Science Fiction / Double Feature - Patricia Quinn
- Dammit, Janet- Christopher Malcolm & Julie Covington
- Over At the Frankenstein Place - Julie Covington, Christopher Malcolm & Richard O'Brien
- Sweet Transvestite - Tim Curry
- Time Warp - Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell & Jonathan Adams
- Sword of Damocles - Rayner Bourton & Jonathan Adams
- Hot Patootie - Paddy O'Hagan
- Touch-a-Touch-a-Touch-a-Touch Me - Julie Covington & Rayner Bourton
- Once In a While - Christopher Malcolm
- Rose Tint My World - Nell Campbell, Rayner Bourton, Julie Covington & Christopher Malcolm
- Don't Dream It, Be It - Tim Curry & Paddy O'Hagan
- Wild and Untamed Thing - Tim Curry & Richard O'Brien
- I'm Going Home - Tim Curry
- Superheroes - Christopher Malcolm , Julie Covington, and Jonathan Adams
- Science Fiction / Double Feature (Reprise) - Patricia Quinn
Music that doesn't appear in the soundtrack, but it's used in the play:
- Charles Atlas Song - Tim Curry
- Charles Atlas Song (Reprise) - Tim Curry
- Eddie's Teddy - Paddy O'Hagan, Jonathan Adams, Nell Campbell, Julie Covington, and Tim Curry
- Planet Schmanet, Janet - Tim Curry, Julie Covington, Christopher Malcolm, and Paddy O'Hagan