Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Now playing over at Playwrights Horizons is quite the eyebrow-raising new work by Taylor Mac.  Some even say subversive.  I say entertaining and hovering right at the top without overflowing with cliche and stereotype.  Yes, it contains many of the components of the kitchen sink - A transsexual (FTM) son, an abusive husband who has had a debilitating stroke, a military son returning home from the military with a dishonorable discharge for drugs, and a once dominated mother who has transformed her life into the crazy dominatrix of the family.   So I think you see that there is much opportunity for a bit of drama here.  And Mr. Mac does quite the job of weaving this tale - partly farcical - but mostly focused on the underlying message each character bring to the table.

The divine Kristine Nielsen (Paige) helms the cast - ironically the only one who appears as she is (unlike the advertising where she is all made up in a drag like makeup).  Ms. Nielsen appears right at home with her bizarre behavior and crazy ideas - she is a true comedic character actress.  Cameron Scoggins (Isaac) appearing quite svelte and handsome took full advantage of the power of his masculine character and dominated the stage.  Tom Phelan, a remarkable transgender teen actor portraying a transgender teen character, held court as Max or Hir (the neutral pronoun as explained to us early on).  Daniel Orestes (Arnold) didn't get many lines since he had a stroke and was basically two steps above a vegetable but was always a presence on stage with his mumblings.

Kudos to David Zinn for the sets - at first a complete disaster - and the amazing transformation that happens after the intermission.

Fasten your seat belts - this one pulls no punches (well actually it does) and feeds the bizarre to you spoonful after spoonful until either you or Isaac has to throw it all up.