“The revolution will not be masculinized….”
Taylor Mac unleashes the beast within, or is it his best? You decide; I’m not going to tell you. In fact, I can’t tell you what he’s like, as he defies comparison. Pouting petulantly, glitter-encrusted eyes flashing, he stamps a dainty foot encased in faux- leopard skin platform heels and dares us to try.
Taylor Mac wants us to join him on an odyssey voyage deep inside, where he reveals heart and soul truth in the most intimate way possible. He hopes the participatory act will give audiences courage to embark on the voyage, themselves. After all, we’re bound tightly together in this life and culture, passengers linking arms on Spaceship Mother Earth, careening at warp-speed towards Armageddon. Or are we?
Yes, it’s a drag show. But it’s not your everyday, hothouse garden-variety man over-painted with savage defiance to vaguely resemble some deceased femme movie star or enshrined, glitzy celebrity. No impersonation about it. It’s far, far more subversive than that. And far more revelatory. It’s not amplified. There’s only one light on the solo performer inside his downstage bubble circle. It’s more of a shamanic ritual with coyote trickster in pastel fishnets and heels, grinning mysteriously, coquettishly, from under an array of feral wigs in acute disarray, from behind a Mardi Gras glitter face while accompanying himself in song on ukulele. Does he reveal an aboriginal tattoo face, a Greek Chorus mask, an earthy Commedia Arlecchino, or ferocious Noh Oni? Taylor Mac’s visage is chameleon in scope, presence and impact, not static. Occasionally he dons a mammoth “prosternida”, affectionately termed “boobies”, to complete the transformative effect and spike humor. Bring him your tulle, your Mylar, your silk shawls, your slinky teddies, your huddled masses, yearning for inner freedom…and he’ll light the pathway there.
Taylor Mac is a brilliant, unique playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, political activist and entertainer with a dedicated penchant to inspire and illuminate. He is the recipient of a Sundance Theater Lab Residency, a Rockefeller Map Grant, The Creative Capital Grant, The James Hammerstein Award for playwriting, The Edinburgh Festival’s Herald Angel Award, a Jeff Award nomination, two GLAAD Media Award Nominations, PS 122’s Ethyl Eichelberger award, a New York State Council of The Arts Grant, an Edward Albee Foundation Residency, The Franklin Furnace Grant, a Peter S. Reed Grant, and The Ensemble Studio Theatre’s New Voices Fellowship. His one man show The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac, in performance at Dallas’ Undermain Theatre through Feb. 13, has toured to The Sydney Opera House, The San Francisco MOMA and Opera House, New York’s Public Theater, Stockholm’s Sodra Teatern, The Spoleto Festival, The Bumbershoot Festival, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, London’s Soho Theater, and literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls, cabarets, gay sex clubs and festivals worldwide. He invites you, dares you, encourages you, longs for you to join him in reflective play, where you’ll discover your shared humanity and change the world by leaving repressive conformity behind.
“The revolution will not be masculinized.
The revolution will not be masculinized.
We’ve nothing to fear but fear, itself.”
WRR describes Undermain Theatre as “both literally and figuratively Dallas leading underground theatre”. It’s located at 3200 Main St. in Deep Ellum. Tickets: 214-747-5515, www.undermain.org
Quotes from Taylor Mac’s opening night performance: 2/3/2010