A rock ‘n roll queen: Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble retells Georgia McBride’s legend

Holly Janze, Staff Writer

     With a baby on the way, no money for rent, and an Elvis impersonator, what can go wrong? Written by Matthew Lopez, The Legend of Georgia McBride is playing this week, April 5-8 in downtown Bloomsburg at the Alvina Krause Theatre.

     In directing the play for Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Eric Wunsch does an exemplary job in transitioning an Elvis impersonator to a beloved drag queen. Unable to financially provide for his family, Casey (Richard Cannaday) resorts to the only career one can when they are desperate: a professional drag queen.

     There might be some questions coming to mind at the moment: why would a straight man voluntarily perform in a drag show as the main act? Well, for starters, Casey seems to make better money as a drag queen than an Elvis impersonator, but besides that, the play showcases how Casey finds the art of drag helps him express a part of himself.

     With the help of Miss Tracy Mills (Daniel Roth), Casey is able to find a new passion in his life, albeit unexpected, with a fancy black dress and a stunning new name, Georgia McBride.However, the experience is not without its problems. Casey’s wife, Jo (Amber Reauchean Williams), finds out unexpectedly and instantly reacts how most wives would if they just found out their husband has been doing drag behind their backs for the past few months: is her husband gay?

     With the help of another fabulous drag queen, Rexy (real-life drag queen Vinny Celeiro), Casey comes to find out that drag is not just a hobby, it is a matter of who you are and who you are not. A mind-opening talk from Rexy left me teary-eyed when he discusses how he got beat up one night just for being who he is, which brings about a greater issue in society.

     The heartfelt discussion then leads to an incredible dance performance by Celeiro and ends up helping Casey decide if he wants to stay in the show or not (you’ll have to go to a performance this week to find out!).

     The play altogether is thought-provoking, demonstrating gender differences and role expectations, while also giving the audience more than a few laughs. One of my favorite parts is when Georgia McBride is about to make her big debut and the stage curtains opens, and the actual audience becomes the crowd Georgia performs for. Breaking that fourth wall really makes the audience feel a part of the show, and actually becomes an essential part of the experience.

     With songs from Gretchen Wilson and Shania Twain, everyone will learn they have a feminine side they should be proud of. Leaving the play, don’t be surprised if all you can think is, “Man, I feel like a woman.”

      Fortunately, if you did not get a chance last week, The Legend of Georgia McBride is still running this week, , and I highly recommend you go see it; if nothing else, you’ll get to witness a spectacular drag show.

 

 

Richard Cannaday leads the stellar BTE cast as Elvis impersonator-turned drag queen Georgia McBride. “The Legend of Georgia McBride” is running at Alvina Krause Theatre until April 8.