|Taylor Mac wore peanut bags on his stilettos last night.|
New York was filled with plenty of pre-election going-out options last night. I was thrilled to travel downtown for the first time since Hurricane Sandy for another risqué performance from Taylor Mac. In a packed house at the newly renovated Joe’s Pub, all eyes were fixated on the stage.
Each time I watch him perform, Mac’s interpretive, raunchy cabaret encourages me to step outside the box, see a different perspective, and uncomfortably squirm in my seat.
Mac changed things up last night from the original program planned, which included songs from 1830 and 1810, and instead, did The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac. Although a few 1830 tunes were in the mix, the songster revived some oldies but goodies, and ad-libbed much of his almost two-hour show, and quite frankly, this is where Mac shines brightest.
This brings me to the question: Is Mac really ad-libbing or do rehearsals include these random comments and tunes? “I have a kidney stone and I’m on Percocet.” This later became one of his themes of the night, “Blame it on the Percocet.”
Wearing a “Republican” costume that included a peanut wig for the first half of his revue, and his “Democratic” getup for the remainder, Mac was both controversial and comedic. He even asked the question of the audience, “Who’s voting for Romney tomorrow?” One lone hand raised and Mac said, “Are you serious?”
The jokester replied, “No. I’m just f—ing with you.”
“You can blame five things on the hurricane and then you have to shut up about it,” Mac lamented throughout the show. “You can bitch about the MTA, Con-Ed, being cold, having no power, but you gotta be thankful you’re okay. I’m so grateful I’m okay.”
|Taylor Mac’s theatrics shine brightly in layers of makeup, glitter and sequins.–photo courtesy of Taylor Mac|
Mac was thrilled to be back in New York City, after returning from Boston, where his audience wasn’t quite as receptive as the downtown Manhattan bunch he’s accustomed to. Cambridge took a little longer to warm up and understand his political rants and tranny mannerisms. I must confess, after Mac ironically singled me out last night as someone from Cambridge (that’s what I get for a front row seat), I too was in shock the first time I saw his show. I didn’t know what to make of him. Was he offensive? Funny? Crazy, or all three? After an hour into it, I started to get it. But now, after attending three Taylor Mac events, I’m a fan.
It was tough to take him seriously at times while covered in nuts, wrappers, fishnets and glittery eyelashes, but we did, at least about current issues like Hurricane Sandy and the Presidential election. These are serious matters and Mac blatantly reminded us.
We chuckled, roared and screamed at times too, even while Mac forgot the lyrics, (blame it on the Percocet!) which is unlike his typical flawless performance. Only a real artist can forget material during a live show, not attempt to cover it, and be all the more entertaining. That’s Taylor Mac.
“Nothing’s worth doing unless it makes you nervous,” may be Mac’s words to live by and not bad advice for most of us either, especially on a day like today.
Today, like other election days, I’ll be a little nervous when I cast my vote. Am I making the right decision? What if my choice isn’t the right one? I’d bet millions of voters will ask the same.
I will, like Taylor Mac, follow my gut. Because no matter my choice, I’ll step out of my comfort zone when I close the curtain and pull the lever.
|Taylor Mac behind his curtain—photo courtesy of taylormac.net|