The Legend of Georgia McBride

by Matthew Lopez
directed by Mike Donahue
originally produced at Denver Center Theatre Company, Denver, CO.
January 10, 2014 through February 23, 2014

About the Premiere Production:

A heartwarming, music-filled comedy about Casey, an Elvis impersonator who just learned his dive bar act is being replaced with a drag show. With the bills stacking up and a kid on the way, Casey’s going to have to adapt to a whole new show business like none he’s ever known in this risqué romp.

Artistic Statement

The Legend of Georgia McBride is a joyous, bawdy comedy but with a strong emotional, heartfelt and positive message about the transformative power of performance. The permutations of gender and role changing are used to theatrical effect and ultimately upend our assumptions about drag as a heterosexual man becomes a hugely successful drag queen, while the other three actors (including one woman) play several additional parts including other drag queens. Matthew Lopez is one of the most exciting playwrights in the U.S. and I am confident this play will have an extended commercial and not-for-profit life well beyond Denver.

In addition, audiences of all kinds (mainstream, industry, LGBT and young, adventurous audiences) responded enthusiastically to our workshop/reading in February of 2013 and we are “curating” this performance through our engagement program for new audiences and artists, Off-Center—including post-performance appearances and performances by local drag artists. Off-Center prepared the ground for Georgia McBride with its presentation of Drag Machine, an inventive and highly entertaining history of drag that attracted enthusiastic younger spectators. But Georgia reaches out to all ages and demographics and will attract mainstream audiences, members of the drag community, and adventurous younger audiences.

-Kent Thompson, Producing Artistic Director, Denver Center Theatre Company

Grant Statement

The grant increases the total rehearsal time by one week to 5 ½ weeks before previews. Because The Legend of Georgia McBride relies upon the ability to transform actors (costumes, makeup, wigs) on stage and in full view quickly, we have hired a drag coach/choreographer to help creative team and cast figure out those transitions and “acts.” The added time is critical as it will give the creative team (including the drag coach) and the cast time to create a credible drag act, time to figure out how the show and its transitions work in real time, and give them more time the opportunity to connect to the local drag community in Denver before the opening.

-Kent Thompson, Producing Artistic Director, Denver Center Theatre Company

Director: Mike Donahue
Set Design: Donyale Werle
Lighting Design: Don Darnutzer
Costume Design: Dane Laffrey
Dramaturg: Alex Barron
Choreographer: Will Taylor
Voice and Dialect Coaching: Kathryn G. Maes, Ph.D
Cast: Ben Huber, Matt McGrath, Nick Mills, Jamie Ann Romero

Additional Funders:

Steinberg Charitable Trust, Health ONE
Producing Partners: John & Jeannie Fuller, John Strohm and Mary Pat Link