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January 2009 Fan

Moishe Pipik

Cedar Lane Cinema cast, 1982
Cedar Lane Cinema cast, 1982

I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey. It was a perfectly slushy night, when 18 year old Seth Bogdanove and nine of his very drunk and stoned friends, left Waldwick, NJ to see something called The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Oritani Theater in Hackensack, NJ.

Something happened that late December of 1978 evening that was to affect him for a very long time.

For reasons long since forgotten, Seth was asked to join the cast at the Oritani, and enjoyed a couple of months of performing there until the show closed. A few months later, he joined the fledgling cast at The Cedar Lane Theater in Teaneck, soon becoming the emcee in addition to playing Dr. Scott and The Criminologist. The cast gained popularity, played a few colleges and did a few guest appearances at other theaters. Occasionally, they would attend performances at the 8th Street Playhouse in NYC. It was there, on Halloween 1984 that Seth, dressed in a purple sack dress would be transformed into the legend he would remain for the next 11 years. Upon mounting the stage for the drag contest, Stuart Maltz, who played Riff Raff at 8th Street yelled out "Oy mein gott, it's Moishe Pipik!" From that day on, Seth would forever be Moishe Pipik at The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Wedding
The Wedding

Shortly after, Moishe auditioned for and won the part of The Criminologist at 8th Street. Rashly bragging the he could not be made to break character, Moishe was grabbed by two female cast members during his opening scene and had his pants dropped. When it was apparent that this pantsing didn't affect him, they dropped his drawers. Moishe finished the scene, calmly pulled his pants back up, walked off to applause and a star was born.

In April of 1985, with fellow cast mate Michelle Rehfeld, Moishe became part of an incident henceforth known as "The Wedding" (later chronicled in Creatures of the Night I by Sal Piro). The Wedding was a practical joke on the cast an audience where Michelle and Moishe faked a romance, defloration and pregnancy culminating in an elaborately staged Jewish Wedding in front of a packed house... with only Moishe, Michelle and Sal knowing it wasn't real. The resulting mayhem almost cost the pair their lives.

8th Street Playhouse cast, 1985
8th Street Playhouse cast, 1985

Moishe remained with the cast as it moved from The 8th Street Playhouse to The Eastside Cinema, Movieland at 8th Street and finally at The Village East Cinema, participating in such events as "Who Killed Moishe Pipik" and "Rocky Horror for Africa". He also created a much-beloved alter-ego to his alter-ego known as Captain Lysol, a Superhero dedicated to the eradication of bad hygiene.

In 1995, The Eastside Cinema handed down an edict banning nudity and lewdness on the part of the cast. Being told this, Moishe had a heated argument with the cast leader culminating in his announcement that this would be his last performance; reasoning "If I can't show my ass, I'm sure as **** not going to show my face!" True to form, as he did his final speech as The Criminologist and uttered the final line, he mooned the crowd.

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