Transvestite Soup is the shadow cast for the Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) in the Twin Cities and Metro Area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN.
We perform at the historic Parkway Theater in Minneapolis, MN.
Transvestite Soup is entirely volunteer and we do not get paid to perform. Tips are always appreciated to help us pay for maintaining and improving our props and the quality of our show!
History of Rocky Horror in the Twin Cities
The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been in the Twin Cities since the late 1970’s. RHPS has been shown with and without casts at:
- The Uptown Theater in Minneapolis
- The Heights Theater in Columbia Heights
- The Riverview Theater in Minneapolis
- The Mounds Theater in St. Paul
- The Parkway Theater in Minneapolis
- Various events and occasions at different venues including:
- University of Minnesota
- Block E
- PRIDE parades
- The Gay 90’s
- The Haunted Basement
- Wizard World
Previous Twin Cities Casts
Before Transvestite Soup there were a number of other casts that performed at the Uptown and Heights theaters. Naming shadow casts was not a common practice in the early stages of Rocky, so it’s unclear to us whether these were short-lived but organized casts, or the sort of spur-of-the-moment groupings that happened often in early days of audience participation. We are always looking for more information from this time in Twin Cities RHPS history!
Pre-1996 (The Roots of Transvestite Soup)
This history here is foggy; please contact us if you know what happened during this time. From an unknown start date until 1995 or early 1996 the movie was shown at the Uptown Theatre. The shadow cast was named “The Midnight Hour.” At some point during a show, the Uptown’s screen was damaged, and due to the high cost of replacing it, the Uptown ended its live Rocky Horror showings. Cory Mottaz, Shelly Rounsville, and Maria Gomez tried to put together another shadow cast shortly after the expulsion of the Midnight Hour. They added Anthony Butterfield, Adam Hines, and a few other people into the cast. They named this new cast Midnight Madness—a common name for a Rocky cast in those days, and unrelated to the cast of the same name that currently performs in Chicago. Anthony Butterfield was close family friends with Loren Williams, owner of the Riverview Theater.
July 20 1996 – July 19 1998 (We hit the Heights, and earn our name)
Midnight Madness began performing at the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights. Sometime in 1997 the cast changed its name to Transvestite Soup.
July 20 1996 (Birth of a Mom)
Rockymom joins Transvestite Soup, beginning with our first show at the Heights. Rockymom (or Debbie, if you’re nasty) was the cast mom, which is exactly what it sounds like- a maternal figure that kept us in line, resolved cast conflicts, and anchored nearly every performance for over a decade. And, because she was ROCKYmom, told the dirtiest jokes first and loudest. It’s safe to say, without her, Transvestite Soup wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long as it has.
July 19 1998 – 2004? (I got Mono at the Riverview)
Transvestite Soup moved from the Heights to the Riverview. When we did, the cast, crew, and fans caravaned the film’s print personally. Why you ask? Because WE HAD MONO! Our print was a very limited copy of the movie with mono sound and the Superheroes ending. At one point it was rumored that only six of these prints existed. If the print went back to the movie house we would have lost it, so we moved it ourselves, likely in an armored truck with fishnets along the runners.
Transvestite Soup began performing at the Riverview Theater in late 1998. Shows were performed every Saturday night.
2004? (The First Homeless Period)
In 2004 the Riverview stopped showing Rocky for approximately six months. During this time the cast looked at many alternatives to bring the show back to the Twin Cities. Thanks to Riverview Theater owner Loren’s dedication to Rocky, the Riverview brought Transvestite Soup back to show on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturdays of every month.
April 5 2008 – June 7 2008 (The Second Homeless Period)
Our final performance at the Riverview was on April 5 2008. This performance was almost a sellout with over 600 people in attendance. Loren presented Rockymom with a gift of one of the theater’s front row seats. Transvestite Soup was homeless for a period until the Mounds Theater in St. Paul picked us up.
June 7 2008 – October 31 2008 (At The Mounds)
Transvestite Soup performed at the Mounds Theater from June 2008 through Halloween 2008.
November 1 2008 – October 30 2009 (The Third Homeless Period)
We went a year without a show, until our original home the Uptown Theatre brought us back. Clearly they’d either forgiven the destroyed screen, accepted that we were a different enough cast, or forgotten entirely why they’d stopped doing the show. If it was forgetfulness, we didn’t remind them. Our first shows back were Halloween weekend in 2009.
November 27 2010; November 2015; June 2017 (The End of an Era)
On November 27 2010 our beloved Rockymom attended her last regular show with us. She moved out of the country to be with her love. We had over 300 people in attendance including former cast and crew. She came back to visit in November 2015, which brought a lot of old cast out of the past and onto the stage. We lost Rockymom in June of 2017, but she’s still will always be in our hearts.
October 30 2009 – February 2020 (Uptown Girls, and Guys, and Enbys)
Transvestite Soup continues to perform at the Uptown Theater. Beginning in January 2012, the Uptown underwent significant renovations, during which no movies of any kind could be shown. During the renovation period, Transvestite Soup temporarily moved to the Uptown’s sister the Lagoon Theater. Halloween 2012 (October 27 and 28) saw our first shows in the newly renovated Uptown Theatre.
One of the highlights of our cast’s existence came in May 2017, when we had the chance to perform onstage with Barry Bostwick as part of his appearance at a touring convention. He played Ralph for us, and was exactly as fantastic (onstage and off) as we could have hoped. We also got to perform at our old home at the Riverview, just in case we needed that to be somehow even better. History repeated itself in November 2019, when we performed at another convention, introduced by both Barry and Little Nell!
In December of 2019, we decided to take January and February of 2020 off from performing. They had been historically low-attended months, and the cast as a whole needed a break, so we planned to rest and come back fresh and excited for March of 2020! Cue ominous music.
March 2020 – June 2021 (Everything Falls Apart)
Much like everything else, the Covid-19 pandemic brought an end to our performances. And rightly so; we could not think of any way to perform while guaranteeing the safety of our audience, cast, and crew.
In May 2021, just as vaccinations were becoming widespread and we started to have hope of being onstage again, the Uptown Theater received word that they were being foreclosed due to back rent. We moved our belongings out in June, and said goodbye to that wonderful space, and to the people there who had helped make our tenure such a joy.
June 2021- Now (Always in motion is the future)
After a brief period without a place to hang our (gold-sequined) hats, we connected with the Parkway Theater, and found our chance to perform once more! See our Calendar for a list of upcoming shows.
PLEASE add to our history! If you have any information or pictures you’d like to share, please contact us!