Off-Broadway's MCC Theatre kicks off its 2015-2016 season with a new comedy called "The Legend of Georgia McBride." NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
"The Legend Of Georgia McBride" may not be the best play to come down the pike, but few can top it for sheer bust-a-gut, lose-yourself, feel-good fun at the theatre. And it features a very talented cast, along with one central performance that's about as fabulous as it gets.
It starts rather benignly as we meet Casey, a struggling Elvis impersonator at a two-bit club in Panama City with a wife and baby on the way. And then, on the verge of losing his apartment, he gets fired.
That's the meat and potatoes of this story. But just as it seems we've entered the cliche zone, in walks Tracy, a drag queen played to the sensational hilt by Matt McGrath who provides the dessert portion of the evening; and suddenly, things turn very juicy.
Tracy is the club owner's nephew, and she's been hired along with her testy drag partner, Anna-Rexia Nervosa, to beef up business. As fate would have it, Rexie shows up drunk, and Casey is forced to take her place. A reluctant drag queen is suddenly born.
He becomes Georgia McBride, and together with Tracy, business starts to boom. Casey can pay his rent now, but what to tell the wife? That's the central conflict here. Yes, it's lame, but no matter: the Georgia/Tracy/Rexie scenes are priceless.
Keith Nobbs plays two very different roles - Rexie and good ol' boy Jason - displaying an impressively versatile set of acting chops. Dave Thomas Brown is also excellent. As a straight guy who discovers a passion for drag, the transformation is most affecting. And Matt McGrath delivers one of the year's all time great performances - both nuanced and outrageous, he captures the heart and funnybone of a character that leaves us helplesly smitten.
Kudos to Matthew Lopez, the playwright last represented on stage with his ultra-serious "Whipping Man." Switching gears entirely, he and director Mike Donahue have whipped up a wildly irresistible summertime diversion.