Martha Graham Cracker Set To Make Her Wilma Theater Debut
The world's tallest and hairiest drag queen and her band, the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret, make their Wilma Theater mainstage debut with their trademark masterful musical stylings and uproarious comedy. Played by Pig Iron Theatre Company co-founder Dito van Reigersberg, Martha Graham Cracker has been hailed as the "drag queen king of Philadelphia" by The Philadelphia Inquirer and received Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly award for her one-of-a-kind unscripted show. This June, she will grace the stage of the Wilma for two groundbreaking performances, including a Martha Graham Cracker show like never before: a matinee performance for children and the young at heart. Tickets are on sale for this limited engagement event, running from June 28-June 29.
Barely able to contain her excitement for the upcoming gig, the musical maven herself gushed, "Ah the Wilma! I can't wait to strut my stuff in that hallowed hall, that acoustic dream, that theatre where Blanka Z reigns supreme." While Martha Graham Cracker can be seen regularly on stages throughout Philadelphia from FringeArts to Opera Philadelphia, alter-ego Reigersberg is arguably equally prolific as an experimental theatermaker and comedic virtuoso. The Wilma is especially pleased to host her foray into fully-produced performances for young audiences. "We have been slowly trying to incorporate more work for children into the Wilma's programming while remaining true to our mission of creating living, adventurous art. I can think of no greater opportunity than this show. I can't wait to bring it to our audiences," says Wilma Artistic Director Blanka Zizka.
While adults for June 28's Friday evening performance can expect Martha's trademark irreverent humor and anything-goes performance style (open to all ages but containing mature content), she assures parents that Saturday's matinee would be rated "somewhere between G and PG" were it a movie.
Dito is a co-founder of Pig Iron Theatre Company and has created and performed in almost all of Pig Iron's productions since 1995, including the OBIE-winners Hell Meets Henry Halfway and Chekhov Lizardbrain. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he trained at The Neighborhood Playhouse and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. He has also performed with Headlong, Azuka, Mauckingbird, the Arden, Bearded Ladies, Rude Mechs, 1812 Productions, The Civilians, and Nichole Canuso Dance Company. He is a Barrymore Award recipient for Best Ensemble for Mission to Mercury and for Best Choreography for Cafeteria (Pig Iron), a Barrymore nominee for Best Actor in a Musical for Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Azuka), as well as a Helen Hayes Nominee for Best Leading Actor for Hell Meets Henry Halfway. With his Pig Iron cohorts Dan Rothenberg and Quinn Bauriedel, he was named a Pew Fellow (2002) and a Knight USA Fellow (2010). Dito's alter-ego Martha Graham Cracker is famously "the tallest drag queen in the world." Her monthly cabaret series at L'Etage in Philadelphia has been running for over 13 years. Along with her extraordinarily tight band, she has performed regularly at a wide variety of venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Joe's Pub, and the Mayor's Reception Room in City Hall. He recently made Lashed but Not Leashed, an original cabaret of songs for Martha and her librarian fantasies, at the Kimmel Center and performed it at the Under the Radar Festival at Joe's Pub. In 2018, Reigersberg performed in Spiegelworld's Opium at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Tickets are available now and may be purchased at https://wilmatheater.org/martha-graham-cracker. Tickets for the Friday June 28 8:00pm performance are $35 for general admission and $15 for students/industry (proof of status required). Tickets for the Saturday, June 29 11:00am performance are $20 for adults and $10 for children.