Elvis Impersonator Turns Drag Queen in MCC's Legend of Georgia McBride, Opening Tonight

News   Elvis Impersonator Turns Drag Queen in MCC's Legend of Georgia McBride, Opening Tonight
 
An Elvis impersonator turns drag queen in the New York premiere of The Legend of Georgia McBride, by Whipping Man playwright Matthew Lopez. The production officially opens Sept. 9 at MCC Theatre with Dave Thomas Brown, recently of Heathers: The Musical, in the title role.

The opening production of MCC Theater's 2015-16 season is scheduled to run through Oct. 4. For more information visit MCCTheater.org.

Here's how it's billed: "A heartwarming, music-filled comedy about Casey, an Elvis impersonator who just learned his dive bar act is being replaced with a drag show. With the bills stacking up and a kid on the way, Casey’s going to have to adapt to a whole new show business like none he’s ever known in this risqué romp."

Dave Thomas Brown, Matt McGrath and Keith Nobbs
Dave Thomas Brown, Matt McGrath and Keith Nobbs Photo by Joan Marcus

The cast also includes Wayne Duvall ("O Brother Where Art Thou?," "Leatherheads"), Matt McGrath (Cabaret, Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Keith Nobbs (Lombardi, “The Black Donnellys”) and Afton C. Williamson (“Nashville,” “Homeland”).

The production is directed by Mike Donahue, who also directed the 2014 world-premiere production at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, with choreography by Paul McGill (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), set design by Tony Award winner Donyale Werle (Peter and the Starcatcher), costumes by Anita Yavich (Venus in Fur), hair and makeup by Jason Hayes (Casa Valentina), lighting by Ben Stanton (Fun Home), sound design by Jill DuBoff (Hand to God) and casting by Will Cantler/Telsey + Company.

"I grew up in the small panhandle town of Panama City, FL. There were very few things to occupy the mind and the time of an artistically-inclined young gay boy other than community theatre and, later, the one local gay bar," playwright Lopez said in a statement. "It was at the theatre that I learned the power of transformation and make-believe. It was in the local bar as a teenager that I learned how those two things were put to specific use through drag. They are two things that I have carried with me through the years and they came together in this play. The idea of a straight drag queen came to me when I happened across a playlist that had been handed down to me from a friend who knew a woman who's boyfriend was exploring drag as a performance art form. The playlist was filled with Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton. It captured my imagination, this notion of a straight man learning drag. My history and this collection of music converged in my imagination to create The Legend Of Georgia McBride." Lopez's The Whipping Man, the historical drama about a Confederate Jewish soldier returning home to his former slaves, played to acclaim Off-Broadway in 2011. It has enjoyed a robust regional life since then. His other plays include Somewhere, Tio Pepe, Reverberation and Zoey's Perfect Wedding.


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