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Wednesday 1.7 

Chapel Hill
The Young Ladies of...
Playmakers Rep—They still do "downtown performance art" in New York, but these days such one-person self-excavations likely as not can be found in such Brooklyn enclaves as Williamsburg or Red Hook. To avoid being lumped in with a passé art form from the Ed Koch years, the term Taylor Mac prefers is "theater artist working in the genre of pastiche." Accordingly, Mac's attention-getting 2007 show, The Young Ladies of ..., is drawn from letters written to his father during the Vietnam War. The catch is that the letters—thousands of them—were from people who were total strangers to his father, who had placed ads seeking correspondents. The other things to know about Mac's act: He dresses in drag and strums a ukulele, sings songs from Carousel and "in the last 15 minutes, he can't resist indulging in what has become a performance art ... cliché: the literal and figurative reveal," according to an otherwise positive review in The New York Times.

More disconcerting, however, is a rave review in The Irish Times: "Taylor Mac seduces you, breaks your heart, puts it back together again and stitches sequins along the scar."

Hmm. What about just the thread?

The show opens tonight and runs through Sunday, Jan. 11. Visit www.playmakersrep.org for more information and tickets. —David Fellerath

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