Life for Casey, the Elvis impersonator, is about to get “All Shook Up.”
His rent check bounced (again). He just found out his wife is pregnant with their first child. And to top it all off, he’s just been let go from his not-so-lucrative Elvis gig down at Cleo’s dive bar. Thank you. Thank you very much. And while Cleo’s no longer has a job for “The King,” they do have a brand new opening…for a “Queen.”
This spring, FST is busting out all the heart, soul, wigs, and sequins to bring to life a bedazzled tale of transformation and perseverance.
“It doesn’t get more fun than a broken down Elvis Impersonator, a run-down bar, and a hit drag show all combined!” said Kate Alexander, Director of The Legend of Georgia McBride. “To experience such utter joy and live with such abandon — it’s the story of the American Dream in a gilded flamboyant coach.”
Called “a stitch-in-your-side funny new comedy” by The New York Times and “one of those rare charmers” by LA Weekly, The Legend of Georgia McBride peeks under the wigs and over-the-top makeup of its irresistibly funny and flawed characters to see the heart inside.
“I selected the play because it is deeply human,” said Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins. “I think everyone will have their own view of the play, but for me, the play is about accepting ‘The Other.’”
Tony Award-winning playwright Matthew Lopez says he was attracted to the notion of a straight man exploring the art of drag.
“I got the idea of setting it in my hometown [Lopez is from Panama City, FL] and telling the story of this down-on-his-luck straight white guy who is an aspiring Elvis impersonator, who has definitely got performing in his blood, but who is not yet fully actualized as an artist or a person,” he shared. “And Casey stumbles on doing drag and blossoms as a result, and really comes into his own as an adult through this process.”
We meet a cast of lovably human characters along the way. There’s Jo, Casey’s newly pregnant wife who loves Casey to death, but would also like to not get evicted, please. There’s Eddie, the proud owner of Cleo’s dive bar, who appreciates Casey’s on-point Elvis impression, but would like to make a buck sometime this century. There’s Miss Tracy Mills, an elegant drag queen with a saucy, snappy quip and a vivacious vision for Casey’s new act. And there’s Rexy, aka Anorexia Nervosa, the not-so-elegant drag queen, armed with roller skates and a handle of vodka — and she knows how to use ‘em.
“Georgia McBride is about a group of people who don’t really fit in anywhere else,” said creator Matthew Lopez. “I call them my misfit toys, and they build a home together at the bar.”
“In a world where people often feel threatened by those who are different, this play celebrates those differences and encourages us to learn from each other,” said Alexander. “It’s a play for all of us.”
Winner of the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk Award, Hewes Design Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award, The Legend of Georgia McBride celebrates the freedom and friendships we find when we dare to keep singing (or lip synching) our own song.
The Legend of Georgia McBride will begin playing April 6 in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. For tickets and more information, click here.