BWW Review: ACT's LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE Struts and Sashay's into Seattle
Are you adverse to fun or having a good time? If so, then just stop reading now and move on. If not, keep reading and then get yourself down to ACT to catch "The Legend of Georgia McBride" for some fabulous numbers, fake boobs and hell on heels all wrapped up in a fun and engaging story.
It's a tale as old as time as struggling Elvis impersonator Casey (Adam Standley) is let go from his gig at Cleo's by the manager Eddie (Jeff Steitzer) only to be replaced by a couple of drag queens, Miss Tracy and Rexi (Timothy McCuen Piggee and Charles Smith). But when one of the drag queens has a few too many and passes out, Casey, who has been relegated to being the bartender, must tuck away his ... um ... hesitations and fill in lest Eddie fire them all. When Casey shows a little aptitude in the performance Miss Tracy convinces him to stay on under her tutelage. But while the money begins flowing in from their wildly popular shows, what Will Casey tell his wife Jo (Nastacia Guimont) about his new act?
The play by Matthew Lopez is a rip snortin' good time mostly due to the uproarious drag numbers performed throughout. The script is good and the story is simple but engaging but it's their commitment to the characters and the numbers that makes the show. And what brilliant numbers they are as Music Directed by Rich Gray and choreographed by Jessica Low. And lest you think we're only getting lip synched numbers here, think again as we're treated to some fantastic live vocals as well. And then there's the flawless costumes and wigs by Pete Rush and Dennis Milam Bensie which managed to be gorgeous at the same time as being practical as they have to be put on and taken off in a matter of minutes and many times on stage.
For the most part the ensemble is top notch. Standley shows off some real star power with an incredible arc while wowing with even more incredible routines. And he gets to show of his killer pipes with live vocals that invade your soul. I, for one, want the cast album. Piggee once again shows off his inner diva with power and grace. I say once again as I still remember his stunning drag turn in "Miracle" a few years back. Steitzer slays as the money hungry club owner willing to put anything on stage as long as it makes a buck. And Guimont is delightful as the beleaguered wife and even manages to show off her own inner drag queen in the show's finale (oh come on, you knew there was a big finale). Really it was only Smith who needs to work on his connection to the piece. He needs to listen and internalize more than just saYing Lines as he came off a bit stiff but hopefully he'll settle in with time.
But minor qualms aside the show is simply a good, GOOD time! If you find you're not rocking out and hooting and hollering for the girls up there then I question the existence of your pulse. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give ACT's "The Legend of Georgia McBride" a fabulous YAY+. Strap on your heels, get out your feather boa and do not miss this one ... unless you're adverse to fun.
"The Legend of Georgia McBride" performs at ACT through July 2nd. For tickets or information contact the ACT box office at 206-292-7676 or visit them online at www.acttheatre.org.