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R. Kelly's hip-hopera comes out of the Closet

Trapped in the Closet [pictured] to get a sing-along tour in the US.

After its release in 2005, the first chapter of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet became an overnight sensation that remains an iconic – as R. Kelly so cleverly dubbed it – hip-hopera.

Complete with outrageous accusations, infidelities and dramatics only rivalled by American soap operas, the 23-chapter saga still inspires knowing smiles and sing-alongs among those who witnessed the birth of the now-cult classic.

These throwback moments usually occur (as I can attest) with the help of YouTube, which boasts every chapter of the series.

Users still debate the credibility of R. Kelly’s storylines, marvel at its catchiness and, of course, ponder why they’re on chapter 13 when they only meant to watch chapter one. But now, there will be an even more gratifying way to experience the epic tale.

The Action Pack, IFC, Fuzzy Bunny Films and RCA Records are bringing Trapped in the Closet to select US cinemas in November for what has been described as a “festive sing-along atmosphere”. Starting with a dance party warm up with some of R. Kelly’s best non-Trapped music videos, the event will be a 2k DCP presentation of the first 22 chapters of Trapped in the Closet with custom subtitles.

As these film and entertainment companies seem to have noticed, Trapped in the Closet has all the makings to be the Millenial Generation’s Rocky Horror Picture Show: a veering, nonsensical plot, outlandish characters and catchy melodic themes.

Test runs at the infamous four-day Tennessee music festival Bonnaroo and the New York Comic Con have proved this is true: Henri Mazza, founder of The Action Pack, said “the experience of watching 600 R. Kelly fans come together as one force to react to the crazy plot twists, sing along to the best lyrics and wave spatulas in the air along with Rosie the Nosy Neighbour gave me hope that one day the music of R. Kelly will be powerful enough to bring the entire world together in peace.”

An exaggeration yes - I doubt R. Kelly will be the bringer of world peace - but if we’ve learned anything from Rocky Horror, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room and even Grease, it’s that there’s nothing as long-lasting as a campy bout of film-making – particularly when there’s a song or two involved.

So far, cinemas in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Seattle, Tucson and Winchester, VA, have booked The Action Pack’s event.

For more details, visit The Action Pack’s website.

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