"Let's do the time-warp again," as the "Rocky Horror Show" lyric goes, so flash back to a hot day in late August. Local favorites Peggy Platt and Nick Garrison met at the Broadway Bar and Grill to discuss being in 5th Avenue Theatre's new production of the cult musical.
Both actors are best known for their more offbeat work, and both are appearing for the first time at the 5th. Garrison is Riff-Raff, the alien butler, and Platt playing Dr. Scott. "I'm an old man, with a bald head, who ends up in fishnet stockings," she said. "But Riff-Raff and Magenta have been modernized. And Doug Tompos, who plays Frank N'Furter - he's dreamy."
"And John Curley [from KING TVs "Almost Live"] is the Narrator," Garrison said. "I laughed so hard when I heard that. I think he's just perfect for the part."
To Platt's amazement, Garrison didn't know much about "Rocky Horror" until he started researching the musical for this show. "I memorized all the lines years ago," said Platt.
Garrison somehow skipped "The Rocky Horror Picture Show's" midnight showings, a staple at the Neptune Theater for years, where audience members showed up dressed as "a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania" and other roles. The audience also added to the musical's barrage of sex jokes by screaming their own interpretations of the characters' libidos.
Platt saw the movie in the mid-1970s and still has vivid memories of its impact on her.
"It was hitting drive-ins and it hadn't hit the Neptune yet. It was playing on a double bill with "Phantom of the Paradise" and I'm a junior in high school, and I didn't know anything, and we went to the drive-in with all these kids and we were..." she mimes her jaw dropping open and eyes popping out. "We were like "oh, my" and "oh, gosh" because the men in the movie were wearing women's clothes. Now, of course, it seems so harmless and so sweet. But it seemed really naughty to me. It seemed like I was doing something amazing by watching it."
"My movie like this would be 'Fame' - 'Fame' seemed so naughty to me. It was my idea of what living in New York would be like. We'd all be in leg warmers and dancing in the streets," said Garrison.
Although Garrison has worked in New York theater, and Platt is no stranger to the mainstream theaters of Seattle, neither expected to get a casting call from the 5th.
"I'd never thought about working at the 5th. It was one of the theaters that's always been on the periphery for me," said Garrison. "It's nice to know that a theater that's so big that they could do what they want is pushing to do stuff that's a little more edgy."
Best known in her home neighborhood of Capitol Hill for her work with Lisa Koch in "Dos Fallopia," Platt has appeared in most of the major theaters in town, including ACT, Empty Space and Seattle Children's Theatre in 22 years of theater work in Seattle.
Garrison gained a local following for starring as the title role in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at the ReBar, and was associate director of the recent production of "Inflagrante Gothicto" at the Empty Space. A Madison Park resident, he started taking theater classes as a teen on Capitol Hill.
"I remember doing an acting program at the Northwest Actors Studio when I was 16, and Peggy came in and spoke to us about being a working actor. It was really inspiring and very cool," said Garrison, who is now 29.
"I remember that! I didn't know you were in that!" laughed Platt.
"That's what I love about Seattle theater. There's this great legacy of people who've worked here and keep coming back to Seattle," said Garrison.
Platt also got her start as a teenager. "Back in 1976, I was in summer stage here," she said "It was the Parks Department at the Bathhouse Theatre."
Following "Rocky Horror," Platt's heading for New Orleans and Garrison plans to return to New York. For the present, both are looking forward to sinking their teeth into "The Rocky Horror Show."
"I love the first week of rehearsal, it's always the most fun time as an actor as you explore the part," said Garrison. "But I'm expecting this whole show to be fun."