Because is there anything that signifies a Crse return to the blogosphere like a live-blog of “How The Drag Queen Stole Christmas” which premieres right here in my home town? I think not friends. I think not. It’s mostly sold out but if you feel real real lucky? Call the reservation line and see if they can set you up.
I admit, I probably entered tonight with a bit of bias. My good friend Dennick wrote and directed the show and because I think he is funny and talented, I knew the show would be top-notch. (This despite hearing of the travails of a tortured director for a few weeks. In true theatrical fashion, Dennick would end his tales with his usual humor “It will be fine, though. It will be like the magic of theater and the magic of Christmas get together and have a baby!”)
Well friends, this is only my second foray into the preview night live-blogging, but lemme just tell ya, the two experiences couldn’t be more different. NOTLD (the halloween show) was a tense silent affair that Dennick warned me direly to be punctual for. When I arrived for that show, the lobby was mostly empty and the atmosphere was quietly eerie.
I arrived tonight to lots of cheerful people running around in lingerie. Lucy is in the midst of it all, making baskets for the event’s chinese auction. Laughter echoes through the old theater and even though the show hasn’t begun yet, the comic timing of this group is already evident….
“Yeah I didn’t even lie to the clerk. I told her they were for me” Says Murad, Brooke’s boyfriend, who is a bearded young man with a football playerish build. Upon seeing Brooke, his face lit up and he showed off his prize “Look honey! I got buy three get one free! Now I have fresh panty-hose for every show!”
“Don’t blog about my underpants outfit, Im very insecure!” Says Buff during the soundcheck (She actually looks like a slutty little red riding hood without the hood. Its very hot and Christmasy all at once)
“Get your own bitch” Says Maxine Factor (oh yes she is back friends. And strutting around all hot in her lingerie.) (My new friend Danielle just observed that she is either talking about lipstick, wigs, or pantyhose) “You are a damn racist” we hear Maxine yell from the dressing room a few seconds later.
“It’s ok Rochelle, don’t hate……” she breaks into a chant “Don’t hate….reciprocate” Says Brooke/Sarah Palin.
“Oh my God, I think Sarah Palin just went ghetto” says Danielle’s husband Adam.
I had assumed the preview (although not formally announced) would begin at 8. It is now 947pm and the pre-show music is on. Dennick just came out to welcome us and said he would see us after the show. “Unless you just run out in the middle because it’s too awkward to face me afterward” he joked.
We laughed. A pause. Adam mutters to Danielle “Oh great now we have to stay for the whole thing or he’s gonna think we hate it”. I should mention that Adam and Danielle are my preview buddies as Ive coincidentally managed to sit near them at two other performances and we’ve now bonded. They are like a young attractive version of Statler and Waldorf from the muppets.
The show begins with a hilariously nasty monologue from Sarah Palin. Like most Christmas shows, the opening number is a chorus line of scantily clad women and drag queens singing “lady marmalade”. Starlett O’Hara then takes over the stage with a torch song solo.
“My husband may never want to have sex again” Danielle leans forward and whispers.
Maxine has better legs than I do. It’s kind of intimidating. Lucy credits her support hose. I really don’t care if she is lying. The story unfolds. It’s a sad story. Starlett is a lost soul. With a missing conjoined twin.
You know how when your friends do something and you really want it to be good but you are terrified it won’t be? Well happily this is not one of those times. This is fricking hilarious. It’s a musical drag queen christmas carol…. Friends, the cameos. The one-liners. The continuous scatalogical/gallows/purely nasty humor….(think way bluer than Lenny Bruce).
I want to tell you everything but at the same time, I don’t want to ruin the show for anyone (as it’s just much funnier in person). What I will say is this. This show is what people mean when they talk about the magic of live theater. The cast has a chemistry that is palpable and inviting. The writing is brilliant and the comic timing is genius. But it was more than that. Without revealing details, there are two ensemble musical numbers near the end of the show. In both cases, I became teary as I looked at the faces of these characters and stopped seeing the actors. (Ok this is totally corny I know) Every single one of them seemed to be glowing. It truly was like Dennick’s magical baby. It pretty much defies description altogether, in fact, but it’s what we look for in all of our plays and shows and movies. It’s our chance to touch magic, even if it’s only for a little while.
Friends, I promise Im going to be better about blogging. I really did feel inspired by tonight so Im hoping it means the start of a new creative phase. To keep you coming back, I promise you pictures of Maxine Factor in lingerie when I go see the final performance of the show on the 13th. Until then, remember…the ugly season has officially begun.