Music, Pop Culture

Trapped in the Closet: The Audience Participation Guide

Once in awhile a movie comes along that really makes you stop and think. A movie that makes you question the very essence of our existence. The nature of Mankind and the dilemma of choice.

A movie that revives your faith in artists, the act of creating, and the quality of work that is being birthed into the world.

A movie that makes you laugh, cry, sing, jump up and cheer, take off your pants and start humping the living room floor.

A movie like Trapped in the Closet.

There is no finer hip-hopera set in Chicago than R.Kelly’s roman a clef about closet hiding, Beretta wielding, crusty-ass ho’ing, and midget porking. R. Kelly has single-handedly created, owned, and destroyed a genre with this film.

Released in 2005 and 2007, the Trapped in the Closet saga now boasts 22 chapters with more rumored to come. The story follows the epic journey of Sylvester (played by R. Kelly, which coincidentally is his middle name) and the trials and tribulations of being a player in Chi-town. The film begins with him waking in another woman’s bed, which spurns a series of events where everyone on the planet is obviously boinking one another. Some guns get whipped out, some pie gets eaten , and a midget shits himself in the process.

Many people make fun of Trapped in the Closet.

I’m not sure why?

Like Coppola to Apocalypse Now, this is a story that Kelly would stop at nothing to tell. The heart and conviction he put into his masterpiece is evident and his determination should be commended. Not only did he write the story and music, he also played, not 1, not 2, but 5 characters in Trapped in the Closet– Sylvester, the Narrator, Randolph (a cantankerous old man who lives next door to Sylvester), Rev. Mosley James Evans (a God-fearing preacher), and Pimp Lucious (a completely random stuttering pimp).

Considering the cult status of Trapped in the Closet, I’m surprised to discover that no Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque audience participation yet exists. As far as I know. Bitches, let me know if I’m wrong, then I’ll delete this post and cry for all the freakin’ time I spent working on it.

At some point, I’d like to host a full audience participation-style screening equipped with costumed viewers, props, and shout-outs. This is my dream.

Coming up with a shout-out script was mo-fo’ing difficult. I’ve realized that watching years of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has done NOTHING for my sense of humor. Any suggestions are welcome!

Below is a sample of my goal:

Trapped in the Closet: Audience Participation Guide

Character Costumes:
Sylvester/Narrator- a suit and tie, sunglasses, cornrows, necklace, God-like disposition
Kathy/Mary- a wig and nightie
Rufus- a Pastor’s collar
Chuck- a J. Crew sweater and diamond earring
Gwendolyn- a velour matching track suit
Sgt. James- a police’s uniform, cigarette
Twon- white t-shirt, jeans, sideways baseball cap
Bridget- a house dress and pie
Big Man- a fireman’s stripper outfit and boa

Toy guns (for any time “Beretta” is mentioned or pulled out)
Condom (for the line, “Oh my God, a rubber….rubber…rubber)
Spatula (for scenes with Rosie)
Toliet paper (for when Big Man shits himself)
Toy beeper to press anytime someone swears.

Example of Audience Participation: (what to shout out is written in red)

Fade in: Chicago skyline

Title card: R. Kelly (Doo Doo Butter!)

Title card: Trapped in the Closet

Seven o’clock in the morning (porning)
And the rays from the sun wakes me
I’m stretchin’ and yawnin’ (and bumpin’ and grindin’)
In a bed that don’t belong to me
And a voice yells, “Good morning, darlin”, from the bathroom (closet)
Then she comes out and kisses me
And to my surprise, she ain’t you (R.Kelly)

Now I’ve got this dumb look on my face (what else is new?)
Like, what have I done?
How could I be so stupid to be have laid here til the morning sun? (because you’re R. Kelly)
Must have lost the track of time
Oh, what was on my mind? (little girls)
From the club, went to her home
Didn’t plan to stay that long (but I listened to my dong)

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  • Reply Nicole January 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Will faux-urinating (or maybe real depending on how hard you want to go) on people be part of the audience participation? That is essential to R. Kelly's identity, no? There has to be a way to work that in. (That's what she said.)

  • Reply Gwen January 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    these are hilarious to me.
    whats even better is Weird Al's version Trapped In The Drive-Thru…

  • Reply Christopher January 21, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I'd go to that. Over 18 admitted only though, right?

  • Reply Hipstercrite January 21, 2011 at 1:09 am

    @Nicole- That is a brilliant idea. I'm sure we could figure out something like that. Thanks!

    @Gwen- Ha! I need to check that out. Never seen it.

    @Christopher- But aren't children and R. Kelly the perfect combination?

  • Reply joanna January 21, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Oh my lawd. You MUST make this happen.

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