Valet of the Dolls
Low-budget theatre…most of us probably have a pretty low-budget opinion of it. I’ll never forget my fateful visit to a Worcester staging company’s run of Cabaret where Sally Bowles took a digger into the orchestra pit during her grand finale (she got back up, but I had to excuse myself, because I was laughing too hard to breathe). However, supporting the arts is one of the things that I do best, so for better or for worse, I find myself seated in a lot of uncomfortable metal folding chairs taking in the theatrical delights of any number of burgeoning Brandos. All joking aside, every aspiring actor and fledgling theatre company has to start at the bottom and, looking back, 99.9% of the truly moving and inspired performances I have seen in my life have been from some undiscovered star performer, on-the-edge dance troupe or budget black box operation – raw, genuine creativity and talent! Which brings us to Ryan Landry and The Gold Dust Orphans.
The setting: a gay bar – Machine, to be exact (uncomfortable metal folding chairs? Check). The talent: GoGo boys, drag queens, and pretty much anyone else who’s willing to perform deviant and depraved acts on stage in any number of off-the-wall costumes…or the opposite (it’s rated NC-17 due to extreme nudity). Landry’s comic genius comes to life as he reinterprets classic novels, films, TV programs and childhood favorites….Willy Wanker and the Hershey Highway, Phantom of the Oprah, Peter Pansie, or his most recent performance, Valet of the Dolls. Words can hardly capture the outrageously inappropriate scenes that play out in Landry’s new production, but I can assure you, no ‘dolls’ necessary to get you through Valet – Jacqueline Susann would be proud…I think! Penny Champagne, Afrodite and Bananas Foster (pictured above) strut their stuff as superstars on the make and Landry’s imaginative musical numbers even made me blush once or twice…there’s just so much man in a string bikini one can take.
I see no point in delving any further into the plot as the show is a nonsensical roller coaster of hilarity – just go see it! Valet of the Dolls runs through November 22 at Machine, 1254 Boylston St. Soon after follows the return of seasonal favorite All About Christmas Eve. For tickets visit www.golddustorphans.com, and if you buy 3 you get 1 free (just call the box office to confirm your comped order).
Posted by Sam