Shadow cast will perform during ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ viewing at Fitton Center

HAMILTON — A showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” complete with a debut shadow cast performance from The Denton Affair, will return to the Fitton Center just in time for Halloween.

The Journal-News spoke with one of the members of The Denton Affair to find out more about the group, and what audiences can expect from the evening.

Fitton Cinema will offer a showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” Friday night. The production will be capped off with a 24-ft. screen, full theatrical sound and lights as well as a shadow cast performance from The Denton Affair.

The shadow cast is a group of performers who act out the movie while it is playing. There will be live singing and dancing.

“Rocky Horror Picture Show,” a 1975 musical comedy horror movie, is an audience participation film. This means moviegoers will get out of their seats, sing-along, dance on stage, throw things in the theater and more. Guests are encouraged to dress up as characters from the movie or for the “Time Warp.” (The film is rated R with adult themes.)

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the first film to be shown in the Fitton Cinema this season. The Fitton Center will host “pop-up” cinema movie showings throughout the 2022-2023 season. Attendees can expect the movie showings to be packed with holiday themes, special presentations, and other surprises.

Question: Tell us about The Denton Affair and the history of the shadow cast?

Shadow Valashard Woolf: The cast was founded in 1979 by Scott Mallon and Tony Wright. Before arriving at our current home theater, The Esquire, in 2000, we were at the Reel Movies and the Skywalk. The current cast is made up of about 40 people from all over the Greater Cincinnati area.

Q: How do different members of the group complement each other during the shadow cast?

A: Everyone brings something unique and different to our show and some pairings work extra well off of each other. For each character, we have multiple people who can play them, so each performance will have a different casting configuration, creating a unique experience every time we have a show.

Q: How did you get involved in performing and shadow casting?

A: I personally had done some theater in high school and wanted to get back to performing in a capacity that fit my schedule, and it works out that I’m rarely doing something at midnight on a Saturday. I saw The Denton Affair for the first time four years ago this October and joined the cast immediately after.

Q: What do you personally bring to your role in the shadow cast?

A: I play Riff Raff and Eddie, although primarily Riff Raff for the past year, and I try to play him close to the actual portrayal, but I try to infuse a bit more energy and liveliness to some scenes. Riff can be played straight and stone face for most of the show, but when I can come to life, I really bring it.

Q: Do you have a favorite part of the movie and how is that portrayed in the shadow cast?

A: It seems like an obvious answer but probably the “Time Warp.” It’s a moment for the entire audience to get on their feet and for some of the less enthusiastic audience members, it wakes them up and helps them get with the program.

Q: You primarily shadow cast for “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” What goes into the work that you do and how do you make the shadow cast your own?

A: When someone joins the cast they can start right away learning how to work props and get involved behind the scenes and they can start training for a character of their choice. Each person is responsible for their costumes and setting up training sessions with an established cast member. We perform every other Saturday at The Esquire Theatre at midnight and expect the cast to be available for each show.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about doing a shadow cast of “Rocky Horror Picture Show?”

A: There’s so much, but I love the fact that we have a diverse group of people in the cast who probably wouldn’t know each other otherwise, but thanks to this common love for a bizarre movie from 1975, we’ve created a little family of freaks.

Q: What would you hope audiences walk away with after the evening?

A: I hope they enjoy themselves but at some point, they were a little uncomfortable. If you had fun but cringed once or twice…we did our job.

Q: Do you perform regularly in town?

A: Absolutely. We perform every other Saturday at The Esquire Theatre in Clifton at midnight. We post about all upcoming shows on our social media @thedentonaffair and our website,