Mike Donahue and the MCC Theater have given New York a romp of a good time in their current production of The Legend of Georgia McBride. Matthew Lopez’s script is hilarious in its brazen honesty. It is a wonderful and positive story about finding your inner strength to follow your own destiny. Mike Donahue’s direction helps us smoothly move through the story with carefree ease and laughter, setting up the heartfelt moments for greater impact.
The cast is simply dynamite. Dave Thomas (Casey/Georgia) plays a perfectly humanized hero. His innocence and charisma on stage are the perfect combination for the struggling Elvis turned drag queen. He is a joy to watch transform and you will fall in love with his every persona. Thomas’ chemistry with Afton Williamson (Jo) is stellar. Williamson is perfectly cast as the loving and nagging wife of Dave. She is lovely with an air of Zoe Saldana about her. Wayne Duvall (Eddie) plays the club owner (who is always looking to make a buck) with ease. We should want to hate him, but you just can’t help loving every moment he is on stage. Keith Nobbs (Rexy/Jason) is hilarious as both characters - showcasing his deadpan humor as Jason and countering it with Rexy’s alcoholic, shade induced comebacks. Last and certainly not least is Matt McGrath (Tracy). McGrath plays to the audience akin to Charles Bush, laying out quips, puns and movie homages like it is Christmas. The ease which McGrath lands each line and gesture is perfection.
The production team for The Legend of Georgia McBride stepped up to match the brilliance of the cast. The lighting design, delivered by Ben Stanton, would do any rock band proud. Donyale Werle’s set was so well designed, I spent the first ten minutes sitting in the theater before the show started wondering what the actual space looked like and what was the set. This set is as detailed as Disney themes its attractions. The sound by Jill B C Du Boff was had just the right balance. Top that off with a diverse and eccentric costume design from Anita Yavich complimented by makeup and wig design by Jason Hayes and you have yourself one of the best shows in New York City.There are only a few shows that I would say you will be sorry you missed and this one is right up there at the top. It also features some of the best lip-syncing you will ever see. Go. It is fun with a soul. More theater should be like this.
Review By: Paul Morin
Photo By: Sara Krulwich