The Pink Invaders
[ Additional Info ]
Northwest Indiana... The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Pink Invaders. Our mission: to seek out young repressed freaks everywhere and to find something to do on a Saturday night. To boldly go just beyond the limits of good taste. (Doo doooo, doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo).
The Pink Invaders can be found at the Crossroads Cinema, located at the corner of 61st Ave. and Broadway in Merrillville Indiana (about 45 minutes South East of Chicago). The Crossroads Cinema is a bargain theater that has been kind enough to build a stage in front of the screen, rip out the first four rows of seats, and purchase a spotlight to improve the Rocky Horror experience. Glynn Bricker and Greg Camisa, the managers/owners of the Crossroads, love Rocky so much that they have both dated several Trixies, and Greg has even gone as far as getting married to one of the Trixies (Eeew yuck! Monogamy!).
The Pink Invaders were born from the loving womb of the cast known as the Tiny Fools. The Tiny Fools were hatched from the glowing green cocoon of the very short lived cast called Absent Friends. And the Absent friends were mixed in a test tube, put into a centrifuge, and poured onto a peatree dish by a nameless cast started by John Davey, Kristie Wright, and Ryan Markle. Before this there was just swirling mist, chaos, and Saturday Night Live (otherwise known as the Great Void).
Davey, Wright, and Markle brought the first organized performing cast to Northwest Indiana in March of 1992. The cast sold out their performances at the Merrillville 10, a chain theater owned by Lowes, for the next several months. Along the way this nameless cast added and subtracted members until they finally congealed and became Absent Friends. Unfortunately, the cast learned too late that their was a history in the midwest of various casts calling themselves the Absent Friends who mysteriously disappear into some sort of Rocky Horror vortex. Absent Friends were canceled soon after their inception, and the cast was without a home for several months.
Just when many of the cast members had given up and returned to their mundane lives, the troupe found a new home in the Crossroads Cinema, just a few miles away from the Merrillville 10. The move to the Crossroads marked a new chapter in the history of the cast, so they re-organized, added a few new performers, and became the Tiny Fools. The Tiny Fools performed for the next three years and some change guided at various points by John Davey, Kristie Wright, Ryan Markle, Jack Hartlerode, Amy Camisa, and Mat Kniola. During this time, they held not one but two AIDS charity nights for the Ryan White Foundation. Cast member Jack Hartlerode was instrumental in organizing the first benefit night in October of 1993. The Tiny Fools performed two shows that evening one at 8pm (a slightly tamed version of their normal insanity) and one at Midnight (a show so wild, that the whole cast thought that Armageddon was surely upon them when the screen was blacked out by toilet paper for a full three minutes!) The following year the Tiny Fools, led by Ryan Markle, bravely tackled the Ryan White cause, and once again raised over $2,000 for the Foundation.
Tragically, the Crossroads management decided eight months later that they could no longer support Rocky. Attendance had been quite low for several months, and a couple of the owners had always disliked Rocky anyway. Looking back, most of the cast members would agree that it was all for the best. The Tiny Fools did their last Time Warp in August of '95. They went out in a blaze of glory, sequins, and a tremendous amount of nudity. There was not a dry eye in the house when the Criminologist walked out the back door for what everyone thought was the last time.
(Shortly after the show was canceled, the Crossroads Cinema shut down completely, and the owner responsible for canceling Rocky had a massive heart attack. The lesson here kids? Don't fuck with Transvestites from outer space!)
Once again, when the cast had just about forgotten what it felt like to steal their mother's lingerie and dance around in front of a theater full of people, Rocky returned to save everyone from becoming respectable members of society. The return was too little too late for a few of the former Tiny Fools though. Several of the performers had decided that they had better things to do on Saturday night at midnight, so the cast brought in at least 5 or 6 pints of New Blood. Since almost half of the cast was now new performers, and since just about everybody that had once been in charge was gone, the cast underwent another painful transformation and became the Pink Invaders. The Pink Invaders chose a new direction for their cast, dedicated themselves to the enjoyment of the audience, and have made a concerted effort to make the jump to the left at Time Warp speed, instead of stagnating adrift with their shields up.
The Pink Invaders have achieved many of the missions that former incarnations of the cast failed to accomplish. The cast has: multiple performers for almost every role now, organized regular rehearsals, performed two nearly sold-out college shows (and actually got paid for them), and re-blocked their performance to more closely adhere to the characters on the screen. Their crowning achievement happened only recently when they put forth one of their best shows to date with a Halloween spectacular, which including a special pre-show performance of Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
Now, all of these accomplishments may seem insignificant compared to many other casts' achievements, but to the Pink Invaders, it is only the beginning of their long and arduous journey.
Be Just and Fear Not.
Live Long and Prosper.
The Pink Invaders.
(Written by Shawn Stutler with contributions by Brenda Likavec and the Pink Invaders)
The Pink Invaders perform every midnight on Saturdays at the Crossroads Cinema, corner of 61st Ave. and Broadway, Merrillville, IN.
Admission is $5.00, $4.00 in costume.