Taylor Mac's The Young Ladies of... | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Taylor Mac's The Young Ladies of... 

click to enlarge Taylor Mac in The Young Ladies of... - PHOTO COURTESY OF PLAYMAKERS REP

The Young Ladies of...
PlayMakers Rep
Through Jan. 11

One must give Taylor Mac credit. As he explained to Friday night's audience at Playmakers' production of his one-man show The Young Ladies of..., he had been rushed to the hospital for a kidney stone the night before (he was still passing it) and was, in his words, "hopped up on Vicodin" for his performance. And yet, he never let it get in his way; at no point in his hour and 20-minute performance did he seem anything less than energetic and in the moment, despite his own proclamation that he felt like he was "swimming in a sea of fluorescent lights."

Clad in a What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?-style dress and makeup, Mac's show takes the form of his quest to find out about the father he never knew, 2nd Lt. Robert Mac Bowyer, who died when he was 4 years old. Mac's mother sent him some letters she had discovered addressed to his father; unfortunately for Mac, they're all from women responding to a personals ad Mr. Bowyer placed while stationed overseas.

Mac's frustration comes from wondering how his father, the product of a horrifically macho Texan family, would have responded to his flamboyantly gay lifestyle, and the show is structured in the form of a "singing telegram" to his father done through a ukulele rendition of "The Soliloquy" (aka "My Boy Bill") from Carousel, his father's favorite film.

Mac's show is a curious mixture of intimate and broad ideas; in the end, his confusion over his father extends to frustration over blue and red states, his family, and the nature of masculinity and femininity. Indeed, Mac admits his over-the-top performance art is both an act of defiance and a cry for acceptance, just as Carousel is built around a slap "that feels like a kiss." And yet, this angst doesn't feel depressing because it's built around a monologue that includes slide shows, a lot of letters on stage, and occasional audience participation. Whether it's dealing with his father's past or his kidney stone, Mac is a wonderfully joyous performer—and The Young Ladies of... is a wonderfully joyous show.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Comments

your 20 sept review of playmakers current offering missed the boat, big time. the play portrayed all the characters as …

by Pointyhead on The Cake Edits Reality to Ignore the Everyday Consequences of Bible Belt Homophobia (Theater)

Oh, I'd be amused even without the in-jokes. These folks are having a great time, and the setting is transportive. …

by needsomeokra on Wants Upon a Time Is a Commedia Dell'arte Interrogation of What Happily Ever After Really Means (Theater)

Most Recent Comments

your 20 sept review of playmakers current offering missed the boat, big time. the play portrayed all the characters as …

by Pointyhead on The Cake Edits Reality to Ignore the Everyday Consequences of Bible Belt Homophobia (Theater)

Oh, I'd be amused even without the in-jokes. These folks are having a great time, and the setting is transportive. …

by needsomeokra on Wants Upon a Time Is a Commedia Dell'arte Interrogation of What Happily Ever After Really Means (Theater)

The photo credit is incorrect. The photo was taken and edited by Areon Mobasher for Burning Coal Theatre Company. Please …

by Areon Mobasher on The Greeks Streamlines Sophocles’s Theban Trilogy Into Three Nimble, Strikingly Modern One-Acts (Theater)

I'm wondering why Dorfman specifically chose the Death and the Maiden quartet - deriving from the song Der Tod und …

by trishmapow on Forgiving is not forgetting in Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden (Theater)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation