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Review: TWINKIE AND THE BEAST at Drag Daddy Productions

Review: TWINKIE AND THE BEAST at Drag Daddy Productions

Running Now - December 4th @ PLAY Dance Bar

Photo by Josh Tyson

A tale (not so) old as time is taking the stage for one weekend only at PLAY Louisville. Twinkie and the Beast is the newest offering from Drag Daddy Productions, written and directed by the company's artistic director, Tony Lewis. Taking the tropes from different fairy tales --most specifically one featuring a beast-- Lewis crafted a drag musical parody that will have you laughing and cheering from start to finish.

The show centers around a boy named Swell (William Nickles), a young rom-com loving gay man in search of his one true love. Unlike all the other gays in town, he wants to be woo'd and to fall in love without the messy semantics of hook-up culture. Piston (Daniel Riddlesmith) is a local porn star celebrity who has his eyes set on Swell, with crass advances and only one thing on his mind. Swell rejects Piston again and again, and Swell then goes off to deliver a new wig to his Draggy God Mother (May O'Nays). Draggy Godmother leaves to do some door to door Tupperware selling and approaches a creepy mansion before mysteriously disappearing. It is now up to Swell to go investigate her disappearance, and what's on the other side of the mansion door is beastly.. to say the least.

Nickles brings so much joy and charisma to the stage leading the cast as Swell. He embodies the earnest stereotype of a wholesome "Disney gay" flawlessly, and is a fantastic anchor for the larger than life show happening around him. With amazing vocals and comedic timing, he shines. Riddlesmith is absolutely hilarious as Piston. Not one moment of comedic opportunity is wasted while he is onstage, and he somehow manages to make even the most vulgar and crass moments absolutely irresistible. Opposite is Nickles is Yehudah Husband as the Beast. Husband has great stage presence and is appropriately menacing, but is most definitely the "straight man" foil to the crazy characters around him. He and Nickles have wonderful chemistry as well. Local drag artist May O'Nays takes on the delightful role of Draggy Godmother. With a quick wit and some wonderful physical humor, she makes a tremendous impression with her limited stage time throughout the show.

The cast is rounded out by Alex Roby, Richie Goff, Ashhley Brooke Drury, and Annie Mayer. They all play multiple roles in the show, showing great range, and all of them have standout moments. Goff is quite funny as Piston's doting sidekick Larry. Roby is a prim and proper diva as Wiggins, with some phenomenal vocal chops. Drury goes for broad stoner humor as Doobie with great success, and Mayer delivers the would-be title song with equal parts hilarity and sincerity.

The set is simple and effective. With a brick backdrop and some creative lighting, we are taken from location to location in many ingenious ways. Vocally the cast is truly top notch, I'm sure partially due to music direction by Drag Daddy and PLAY regular, Gilda Wabbit.

With a story woven together with parodies of so many popular songs, this show is an absolute crowd- pleaser. Much of the credit goes to Tony Lewis's clever and inventive writing and perspective. The best way I could describe the show is that it's just stupid in the absolute best way possible. It's so smart about how stupid it is, and in classic parody fashion, the cast often winks at the audience so we all feel like we are in on the fun. Lewis is starting to make a name for himself in the Louisville community for his unique ideas of unapologetically blending the art of Drag and musical theatre, creating some truly magnificent original works that celebrate the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle. Chances are that if it's a Drag Daddy production, you're in for a good time, and I personally cannot wait to see what they do next.

TWINKIE AND THE BEAST

Now - December 4th

PLAY Dance Bar

https://www.dragdaddyproductions.com for Tickets!



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One of the world's most awe-inspiring natural wonders will serve as the setting for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on April 29, when members of the Louisville Orchestra join forces with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park, the site of more than 400 miles of interwoven limestone caves and 100 miles of above-ground trails and rivers.

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Northern Kentucky University's School of the Arts continues its Theatre & Dance season with William Shakespeare's timeless classic Twelfth Night. The play will run from February 16-26, 2023 at NKU's Stauss Theatre.


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