Review: DRAGON LADY at Marin Theatre Company

By: Dec. 04, 2023
Review: DRAGON LADY at Marin Theatre Company
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Dragon Lady

Written and performed by Sara Porkalob

Directed by Andrew Russell

Marin Theatre Company

Grandma Maria Senora Porkalob is one tough cookie – indentured servant, nightclub singer, gangster moll and troubled matriarch of a crumbling legacy. Her fantastic life stories are the basis of her granddaughter, Seattle playwright Sara Porkalob’s bittersweet homage, a part of her Dragon Cycle trilogy of musicals.

This piece centers on her grandmother, a rapping, outrageous creature reminiscing on her life on the eve of her 60th birthday. Surrounded by her apathetic children and troubled first born, Maria May or may not be a larger-than-life exaggeration. Using a mix of original and borrowed music backed by a three-piece subset of Bellingham Washington’s jazz ensemble Hot Damn Scandal, Porkalob is amazing as she channels her grandma with a loving hand.

Review: DRAGON LADY at Marin Theatre Company

Life is tough in the nightclub/brothel. After becoming pregnant with Sara’s mother, her gangster lover steals the baby but that doesn’t stop Maria from killing him and reclaiming her child. Another American GI husband brings her to America and another four children follow. So does poverty and having to work three jobs to feed her family. Resentments between mother and children arise from her absentee parenting.

Review: DRAGON LADY at Marin Theatre Company

Porkalob is a gifted actor and singer, pulling off “Blue Bayou”, “House of the Rising Sun” (with original lyrics) and “Love for Sale”. She dedicates her original song “Because of You” to her recently departed grandmother in an emotional finale. Dragon Lady is full of humor yet deals with past regrets and a healing of familial wrongs.

Dragon Lady continues through December 23rd. For more information, please visit or by calling the box office at 415-388-5208.

Photo Credit: Kevin Berne