Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride Plays Denver Center

By Adam Hetrick
23 Jan 2014

The world premiere of Whipping Man playwright Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride, about an Elvis impersonator turned drag queen, currently plays the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.



The Legend of Georgia McBride is directed by Mike Donahue. It officially opened Jan. 16 and runs through Feb. 23 in the Ricketson Theatre.

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."

The cast features Matt McGrath as Miss Tracy Mills/Beau, Ben Huber as Casey/Miss Georgia McBride, Jamie Ann Romero as Joe/Eddie and Nick Mills as Rexy Jason.

"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," 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."

The production has set design by Tony Award winner Donyale Werle, costume design by Dane Laffrey, lighting design by Don Darnutzer, original music and arrangements by Jill BC Du Boff and musical staging by Will Taylor. Alex Barron is dramaturg. Voice and dialect coaching are by Kathryn G. Maes.

Lopez's historical drama about a Confederate Jewish soldier returning home to his former slaves, The Whipping Man, 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.

Visit DenverCenter.org.