We are less than a week away from the debut of the all-new Rocky Horror Picture Show on Fox, and it’s fair to say that antici….pation for this one is pretty high (sorry, had to go there). Although the folks at Fox have been slowly revealing a song here and there from the new production (“Dammit, Janet”, “Toucha Toucha Touch Me” and “Science Fiction/Double Feature”) they have now released Rocky’s pièce de résistance: “Sweet Transvestite,” sung by none other than Laverne Cox as our new Dr. Frank N. Furter.
Laverne Cox’s version of the song arrived this week on the official YouTube channel of Fox’s musical revival, and now you can have a listen to the whole song, which she’s singing to Janet (Victoria Justice) and Brad (Ryan McCartan) in the video above.
The song itself almost got a name change, as according to an interview with Vanity Fair, Cox said that she and director Kenny Ortega talked in the early days of the production about not using the word transvestite at all, as many in the trans community view the word as slur today. But they both finally agreed that to remove it would be unfaithful to the original show. She added “historically, the terms have changed [and] it doesn’t mean the same thing today that it meant in the ’70s. It’s not appropriate to refer to trans people as a transvestite [today], but it is [used here as] the character in that specific moment in history.” Seems fair to me.
Upon listening to this newest version, I think that Ms. Cox does a pretty great job with it, and does a version of the classic tune that’s different than anything the legendary Tim Curry did in the original 1975 film. The arrangement for this version of the song is very different from the one in the original movie, and while Laverne Cox doesn’t have Tim Curry’s superior vocal range, she brings her own unique personality to it and it more than makes up for any deficiencies.
Of course, nothing and no one will ever replace Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, but the best part is that Laverne Cox isn’t trying to–this is her own version of the mad doctor from the planet Transsexual, and she’s not trying to mimic anyone else. Her look is also totally different from his as well. And if Tim Curry gives his blessing to her performance, then who are we to argue?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show airs Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. The new soundtrack of the musical will arrive Oct. 21, the day after the special airs.
What do you think of the Laverne Cox version of “Sweet Transvestite?” Did it do the trick, or are you sticking to the original? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Twentieth Century Fox