The Legend of Georgia McBride
The Garden Theatre
By Matthew Lopez
Directed and Choreographed by Rob Win Anderson
Starring Chris McCoy and Simon Coulthard
Winter Garden, Fl
I never imagined Panama City, FL was a hot bed of drag lovers, but maybe they just waiting for the right act to appear. We begin in a dumpy beach side bar: Casey (McCoy) does a tolerable Elvis lip synch act, and while his duds are flamboyant, his tips are not. His boss Eddie (Rich Somsky) inexplicably brings in a pair of drag queens to replace Casey, but Eddie lets him tend bar. The drag act features Tracy (Coulthard) and her certifiable yet strangely hot side kick Rexy (Freddy Ruiz). The act takes off and patronage grows until Rexy storms off just as the act goes on stage one fateful evening. Casey drags up and goes to on stage; he’s good enough for tonight and learns quickly over the next few. The money is roiling, and his pregnant wife Jo (Adia J. Seckel) doesn’t find out where all the money is coming from until act two. It sure wasn’t that fictious metal band Casey invented.
There’s a lot of glitter and feather boas on this stage, and The Garden took a bold chance here. Sure, they did La Cage a Faux a while back, so maybe Winter Garden is ready for is ready to enter the late 20th century. This show is packed with taped down privates and in your face lip syncing. The back stage chatter feels real, and McCoy made as good looking a queen as I’ve seen around this Fabulous town. Ruiz gives us a wild ride as the alcoholic unstable leg of the tripod, and Mr. Somsky maintains an air of complete mystification all the way to his own drag number at the curtain. We do feel sorry for Jo, she ditches Casey for a few songs, but comes around in the end. The plot is direct and mostly serves to support the music. Director Anderson once more threads thread the needle of community standards, such as they may be, yet remains true to the tenants of female impersonation entertainment. You may be tempted to sing along but hang on this the end. Your makeup isn’t quite up to snuff.