THE HOLIDAY SAUCE HAS ME HOOKED - I DID NOT WANT THIS PARTY TO END, BUT IT MUST CLOSE DEC 1
"You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot—Happy Christmas, your arse, I pray God it's our last." The magnificent Taylor Mac has arrived as the perfect Holiday Gift for the Bay Area. The Pogues’ Christmas anthem “Fairytale of New York,” is just one of the many showstoppers of TAYLOR MAC’S HOLIDAY SAUCE. Taylor Mac's new Holiday show is the latest installment of the artist's award-winning 24-Decade History of Popular Music project. Curran Theatre AD and Producer Carole Shorenstein Hays says ”With Taylor’s spirit of inclusion and playful mischief, I couldn’t imagine a more fitting artist to take our stage this holiday season. I can’t wait for our Bay Area audiences to hear Taylor’s distinct take on ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ as part of our ongoing collaboration.”
“The Black Angel’s Death Song” by Velvet Underground open the evening as Mac celebrates the holiday season commenting on the daily headlines "perfection is for assholes." Taylor Mac is joined by collaborator designer Machine Dazzle who also designed the tinsel perfect set. Terrific music director Matt Ray, and a spectacular eight member on stage band bring some of the darker classics that may make you cry or cheer. Even the uncomfortable sing along is a high point of this Holiday Celebration. "If you're heterosexual, you won't understand a thing that goes on tonight” says Mac but of course it is a San Francisco Bay Area audience. Judy brings many surprises to the Curran stage during the two hour plus show - no intermission and I would not have wanted an intermission. I was transfixed by the Holiday Sauce. (Mac prefers the personal pronoun "Judy")
“I was getting introduced onstage and written about, and some people would say ‘he’ and others would say ‘she’ and neither really felt right for the art I was making,” Judy explains. “My friend Justin Vivian Bond started using the gender pronoun ‘v’, and that made me think I could choose my own”. Judy explained this in one of Mac’s many monologues in 24-Decade History of Popular Music project; “I’m an artist, and it’s part of my job to make people think outside their norms a little bit. And I wanted a gender pronoun that was fun, and that immediately emasculates you – because you can’t roll your eyes and say ‘Judy’ without being camp.”
Judy opens the line of holiday battle “Christmas is not under siege, patriarchy as spirituality is under siege.” "My job as a theatrical artist," he told the Paris Review, "is to remind people of the things they've forgotten, dismissed or buried, or that other people have buried for them." Mac also keeps the daily headlines fresh as the show opens; “Are you ok with your lettuce, we had to throw it out, and all over the US people did just that after two people died, all the lettuce is gone overnight, but 100 die daily from guns’ Judy also shouted out to all the folks that had to deal with the fires and toxic air. Mac did his best to add a face mask to Judy's two amazing eye candy cane dresses.
Born and brought up in California, Mac studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York and wrote Judy's first play, The Hot Month, in 1999. Taylor Mac is also the 2017 MacArthur Fellow and is the author of seventeen full-length works of theater. Mac's A 24-Decade History of Popular Music won the 2017 Edward M. Kennedy Award for Drama inspired by American History and was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama. The work also made The New York Times "Best of 2016" lists in three categories: Performance, Theater and Classical Music.
In some ways this was also a homage for drag legend Mother Flawless Sabrina disguised as a Christmas show. THE HOLIDAY SAUCE is the most savage, naughty perfect renditions of carols and pointedly political commentary, Taylor shares the wisdom that Judy learned from a long apprenticeship with her drag queen mom Flawless Sabrina, who died March 18th at the age of 78. An icon within the Dorothy community, Mom Flawless was best known for organizing a national drag competition that is the basis of the award-winning documentary The Queen that Andy Warhol produced. Flawless Sabrina, once told Mac "irreverence is a tool—not a way of life," and reminded Judy “you are the boss applesauce”.
One of the many highlights included fans who were invited onstage when Mac summoned all the audience members who knew the Pogues’ beer pub anthem “Fairytale of New York,” to join Judy on stage to sing and drink Bushmill’s and Jameson’s served in paper cups.
My exquisitely dressed for the occasion guest Director Actor Artist Clay David, was the first on stage, who told me later “Taylor and his drag mother taught us the life lessons of rephrasing in our minds terms that do not resonate well in our community. Simple substitutions, with Grace and a smile, will help our community persevere. Taylor's secret holiday sauce is a wonderful pot Brewing with all of the life skills and the light from the heavens stirred with Grace and served with an open heart.”
“O Holy Night” was sliced and diced to layer on your knees exclusive right to FFuk a live chicken and made the Gray Haired fans in the opening night audience cringe in their seats. A nude adult Baby Jesus rolls out on stage sucking a flask and brings down the house. Mother Flawless Sabrina’s teaching included “expression is an act of citizenship,” a lesson Mac thoroughly has a command of. "I like spirituality, I just like it in the corner." Costume and set designer Machine Dazzle and vibrant gifted music director Matt Ray are both on stage, one behind a piano and the other dressed as a bright Christmas Tree. Co Director Niegel Smith and Choral Director Valerie Sainte-Agath mix in the live choral group from the box seats and their on stage position for a dynamic sound.
Taylor’s first outfit combined a Christmas snake headdress that conjured Medusa, a bonnet with roast-pig epaulets, or a colorful dress of satan inspired candy canes. Machine appeared first in his Christmas tree, then as naughty housemaid. Co Set designer Jeremy Lydic kept the band on stage. At the piano, Matt Ray took the exquisite on stage orchestra through a honky tonk jazz set list that ended with the whole house quietly humming “Silent Night” along with Greg Glassman on the trumpet, Gary Wang on bass, Marika Hughes on cello, Walker Hawkes on brass, Viva DeCocini on guitar, and Boom Boom Brook on drums who are all distinguished pros. The Orleans-flavored horn section encourages a funeral parade for judy’s hero,Mother Flawless. "Irreverence is a tool—not a way of life."
Additional special guest included Glenn Marla as Sexual Consent Santa, three wise men are part of the "dandy minions", and a full choir of senior women. The Angel Gabriel played by James Tigger Ferguson strips down nude to a cock gem cover before ascending and getting his wings in the balcony box seats. A nativity complete with a camel, beer-swilling three Wise Judy's who are Bethlehem’s perfect camp queens.
As the Angel Gabriel pole climbs to the audience cheers, Mac emergers in judy's second wonderful frock a Nutcracker fantasy in blue/pink glamour with a skirt that doubles as a carousel full of dancing deer and ornaments. This design is magnificent, it is non stop Dorothy theatre and holiday gore all in one. I didn’t want this show to end. Other power house songs performed included Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” with the senior choir singing on the mezzanine box seats. William Roy’s “Bargain Day” and Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids” filled in the two hour tinsel and cheers.
This is like no other holiday show you will ever see. Sidhe degreene, an elf, has Rudolph's red nose shining bright from his round nude bottom. The sexy Romeo Jay Jacinto is the other Elf and makes his is the best queer cheer for the holiday. The event just has a few nights left at the Sf Curran before it moves to LA next week then onto NY for the real Holiday opening. This is a MUST SEE and must close this Saturday Dec 1. Wonderful prices on TodayTix.com with the perfect RUSH deals. O, what a night! Mac quotes Judy's drag queen mom to close the show; “You have to commit to yourself before the universe will commit to you”, “Reality is a mass hunch” and “Normal’s just a sitting on the dryer” closes the non stop unforgettable evening.
The Curran Theatre Presents
Featuring Taylor Mac
Created and Directed by Taylor Mac
Costumes and Set by Machine Dazzle
Music Director Matt Ray
Producers Alisa E Regas and Linda Brumbach
Pomegranate Arts and Nature Darlings
Only through December 1, 2018
The Curran, 445 Geary Street,
San Francisco CA.
Tickets purchased at sfcurran.com,
Or call 415-358-1220
Visiting the box office between 10:00am and 6:00pm Monday - Friday
Photos by Little Fang Photography
Conceived, written, performed, co-directed, and co-produced by Taylor Mac, the creative team for Holiday Sauce includes Matt Ray (Musical Direction and Arrangements), Niegel Smith (Co-Direction), Machine Dazzle (Set and Costumes). Special Guest Performers include Machine Dazzle, Tigger!, Glenn Marla (as Sexual Consent Santa), and the local Dandy Minions and other surprise guests.
RUDOLF - and elf Romeo Jay Jacinto as Santa Glenn Maria looks on
*Interview quotes Alex Needham The Guardian and the Paris Review
FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK
Taylor Mac Performs 'People Have The Power'
Taylor Mac's Next Project “Gary, A Sequel to Titus Andronicus” will debut spring 2019 on Broadway, with Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin, directed by George C. Wolfe, at The Booth Theatre.
Taylor Mac sings Amazing Grace through the streets of San Francisco
OTHER HOLIDAY Shows to look for;
The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. Lauren Gunderson's Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries American Conservatory Theatre puts A Christmas Carol Theatre of Yugen does its A Noh Christmas Carol, ODC/Dance The Velveteen Rabbit. Avenue Q. Lauren Gunderson The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, The Christmas Revels in Oakland Ca, Composer David Möschler Awesöme Orchestra Collective in West Oakland.