“The Legend of Georgia McBride” Will Have You Laughing Right Out Of Your Wig

The Legend of Georgia McBride

Casey is all shook up.

His career as an Elvis impersonator is on the fritz, and his dive bar boss is stepping all over his blue suede shoes.

That’s what is going on in Matthew Lopez’s crowd-pleasing comedy, “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” now playing in the Allen Theatre at ACT through July 2nd.

Casey’s a lovable goof-off who can’t seem to get his act together. He can shake his hips, but he can’t attract a paying audience. He’s in trouble with his wife Jo, because the rent check bounced when he decided to buy a pizza. Now he’s in trouble with his landlord Jason, and Eddie, the owner of Cleo’s, a dingy joint in the Florida Panhandle.

It’s a now or never moment for Casey.

But wait!  In swishes the saucy, drag queen diva-deluxe, Miss Tracy Mills, cousin to cash-strapped Eddie—he’s decided to feature a drag act, a desperate attempt to save his business (never mind that Cleo’s isn’t a gay bar). Tagging along, Tracy’s sidekick Roxy, aka Miss Anorexia Nervosa (She thinks it’s Italian.), will shake her tush as well.

The Legend of Georgia McBride photo by Chris Bennion

“The Legend of Georgia McBride” photo by Chris Bennion

Push comes to shove when Roxy becomes too drunk to perform. Guess who’s thrown into a dress, falsies, and a pair F*** Me pumps, then pushed onstage to lip-sync Edith Piaf?

Casey aka Miss Georgia McBride, his moniker a combo of his mother’s home state and the surname of the first girl he kissed.  And to everyone’s surprise—especially Casey’s—he’s a huge hit and brings home the big bucks (money, not beaus).

Lopez’s frolic is gender-bender hilarious. Think of a mash-up of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” “The Full Monty,” and “Victor/Victoria.”  All we need is my-name-is-Barbra rushing in as Yentl—just kidding.

As you might expect, there’s oodles of silly and sassy one-liners, a jealous diva, an upset wife, fabulous musical numbers, swipes at pop culture, and attitude galore. Rumor has it, there’s “Sound of Music” quip that will bring down the house. And of course, the costumes and wigs are bound to be outrageous, overflowing with sparkling sequins and glitter. Maybe even feathers.

“Georgia McBride” is certainly a change of pace for Lopez, who penned the powerful post-Civil War drama, “The Whipping Boy.” But Lopez is showing off his gift for farcical humor.  The comedy had a celebrated 2015 run Off-Broadway at the Lucile Lortel Theater in NYC and has since been playing regional theaters.

Directed by David Bennett, the ACT cast is stellar: Adam Standley as Casey, Timothy Piggee as Miss Tracy, and Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako as Jo.  Charles Smith doubles up as Roxy and Jason, while Jeff Steitzer portrays Eddie.

They may not be teddy bears or hound dogs, but we can’t help falling in love with “Georga McBride.

The Legend of Georgia McBride runs until July 2, in The Allen Theatre at ACT Theatre, tickets start at $20 and may be purchased online at www.acttheatre.org, by phone at 206.292.7676, or at the ACT Ticket Office at 700 Union Street. For discounts for groups of 10+, contact Amelia Wade at groups@acttheatre.org.

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About Starla Smith

Starla Smith is a career journalist, writing features for such publications as The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily News, The Des Moines Register, Vibe and a prize-winning Gannett Newspaper. She helped launch Theater Week Magazine and eventually became its publisher. As a regular contributor to Playbill, her interviews and photos were featured in Playbill and Playbill-on-line. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes, speeches, and presentation profiles. And she covered theater and features for City Search, Digital City, and the Tena Duberry WOW! Radio show. She previously served as astrology guru for Out Magazine, and she hastens to assure her readers that "Starla" is indeed her real name.

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