Da'Shrine: An African Caribbean Restaurant

  T he building has been sitting for a while. Lets explore what finally took over.  Da'Shrine, 2023 L et me start this one off by stating that I am in no means an expert on Africa, their cuisine, or their culture. Da'Shrine claims to be a mixture of African and Caribbean cuisine. They are sporting a restaurant with a rooftop bar. If you had been to The Refinery prior to coming here, you'll know how the rooftop bar was set up. Unfortunately, the bar wasn't open when we went due to some maintenance that needed to be done before they could open. They did manage to use the space well, though, given how small the building actually is. They also have music playing from the TV, which is fine, but you can't hear the bartender over the bass. But that's not why you're here. Old Fashioned, 2023 T he bar is a square bar sitting against the back wall when you walk in. They have a decent selection with six beer taps as well. The bartender was telling us about some unique

Hell on Heels: A Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute

The most perverted movie ever made got even dirtier.

Opening Scene, 2017

It's always interesting how I meet people. The longer I run Exploring Tampa, the stranger these stories get. So there I am, drinking a beer I can't name at the Ybor City Wine Bar when in walks Susan, the woman responsible for the Hell on Heels performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I offered to put this review up on the website in exchange for free tickets. So, full disclosure, I didn't pay for this event. I probably should've put that same disclosure on the Chamber of Terror and Vault of Souls as well. Live and learn. Anyways, anyone who knows me (or Exploring Tampa in general) knows that October is, by far, my busiest month and preparation leading up to it is crazy as well. Luckily, Hell on Heels does this event once a month in Ybor at the theater there, and every Friday at the Villagio Theater on Dale Mabry. On to the review, but first, this is a Rocky Horror Picture Show tribute. The pictures on this post (despite being some of the worst pictures I've ever taken) will reflect that. You have been warned! But you didn't come here for that, did you?

Iconic Lips, 2017

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in 1975 and has been shocking audiences ever since. The story follows a newly engaged couple as their car breaks down outside of the most flamboyant doctor's mansion that you are likely to ever meet. To their luck, the good doctor is on the verge of awakening his newest creation in the form of the perfect man. Little do Brad and Janet know that their night is about to get very... Interesting. The odd characters that make up the caretakers, maids, party guests, and "monster" give the mansion life and create a story that you're not likely to ever going to replicate. Originally, the movie completely bombed. This is true of most movies that go on to become cult classics, though. The one saving grace from the Rocky Horror Picture Show is that ticket sales never went down, thus allowing theaters to start running midnight showings of the RHPS without having to worry about taking a loss. 

Newbies Lining Up, 2017

I like to think of myself as someone who has a pretty dark sense of humor and someone who isn't usually creeped out. I've had my fair share of awkward experiences and have been able to laugh about them. I can safely say that, within the first five minutes of me being here, the show had already made me uncomfortable. That's an accomplishment in and of itself. Due to my site being as family friendly as possible, I will not post the antics that led to me posting that statement, just go in knowing that there will be some incredibly uncomfortable moments. The show also, true to Rocky Horror tradition, started at midnight, which is something I didn't take into consideration when partaking in all of the October 28 events. Know going in that this show will run until about 2:00 am. If those two statements don't bother you, then strap in as you're about to experience the Rocky Horror Picture Show in a whole new way.

True Romance, 2017

The Hell on Heels cast has clearly been doing this for a while. The actors/actresses all played their parts to perfection, and the live cast kept up with the beat of the movie playing in the background. The emcee chants the most obscene things at the screen at just the right time. To those of you not "in the know," there's a whole second script of obscene lines that the audience is meant to chant at the screen, mainly aimed at Brad, Janet, and the criminologist. This definitely isn't a show you would take your grandmother to. Well, not one I'd take mine to, at least. The show reaches its peak around the time everyone is encouraged to strip to their underwear and run around the theater. Long story short, the audience is part of the cast. The one downside I have to give this show is that they play the movie in the background. I feel as though the cast could carry themselves without the use of the backdrop, however this isn't the first production I've seen do it, so there's clearly a reason. I'm just not sure what that reason is. 

Criminologist, 2017

The actors do interact with the audience, which is an interesting twist, and creates a new dynamic to show performance. At one point, the audience was encouraged to strip down to their underwear and run around the theater with the cast (also in their underwear). It was interesting watching a crowd in various states of dress running around a movie theater, but that's just half of the entertainment. The crowd learns the crude chants, the off-the-wall humor, and the dances to help the actors bring new life to a play that's over 40 years old. I was at the Ybor show, however, their Villagio shows have a full liquor bar, something that's slowly becoming more common in theaters, but isn't quite there yet (yeah, I'm looking at you, AMC). I know the Ybor show sells theater food, meaning that you can get a burnt, microwavable pizza for about $20, but I can't say for sure whether the Villagio has the same deal. I can say that the Villagio has the same owner as the theater that was over in Channelside. The cast also encourages you to bring an extra dollar for a prop bag that makes the show much more entertaining. That extra dollar shouldn't be a problem as the show costs less than a normal movie. Overall, the value is great!

Brad & Janet, 2017

Things to know before you go:
- The shows all start at midnight. You will be out late. Prepare for that ahead of time.
- The show is incredibly crude. If you're easily offended or have young children, I'd probably avoid this show.
- The show happens weekly at the Villagio Cinema! Start a new Friday night tradition.
- It's probably best not to admit that it's your first time.

How open minded do you consider yourself? Do you look forward to running around the theater in your underwear? Leave a comment below. If you'd like more information on Tampa, check out my YouTube Channel and if you'd like to support my efforts, don't hesitate to buy a shirt from our Spreadshirt (we have new designs!). Also, don't be afraid to click subscribe and you'll instantly be notified whenever a new entry is posted. If you'd like to meet other people who love Tampa, consider joining our Facebook Group. Thank you all and I will see you next time!