The Legend of Georgia McBride: Theater review by Adam Feldman
As drag goes ever more mainstream, can straight guys ride the current? In The Legend of Georgia McBride, the amiable Dave Thomas Brown plays Casey, who performs Elvis songs at a dive in the Florida panhandle. Enter Miss Tracy Mills (Matt McGrath), a down-at-heel drag queen whose cousin (Wayne Duvall) owns the bar. Faster than you can bat a false eyelash, Tracy and her dipso friend Rexy (Keith Nobbs) are hired to replace Casey, who has a pregnant wife (Afton Williamson) to support. Their act is a smash, while his is passé: Honeymoon in Vegas in a Kinky Boots world. But when Rexy conks out, Tracy gets Casey to take her place; with a few tips on lipstick and lip-synch, she makes him feel like a natural female impersonator.
A Queer Eye for the Straight Guy version of Tootsie, Matthew Lopez’s feel-good comedy delivers many of the diversions that its premise suggests. Directed by Mike Donahue, on a terrific set by Donyale Werle, the production features silly-glam costumes and snappy one-liners for the queens, an amusing learning-curve montage for our hero and several zippy musical numbers, including a delightful show-tune medley. And McGrath is soup-to-nuts wonderful as Tracy: seasoned, sympathetic and shrewdly funny. But the other characters rarely get beyond the formulaic beats of the plot. Presented in 100 straight minutes, the play seems like a truncated version of something fuller and more specific. The foundation is there; the shading needs work.—Adam Feldman
Lucille Lortel Theatre (Off Broadway). By Matthew Lopez. Directed by Mike Donahue. With Dave Thomas Brown, Matt McGrath. Running time: 1hr 40mins. No intermission.
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