A Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Fun

Casey, an Elvis impersonator, loses his performing job at a Panama City nightclub just as he learns he is about to become a father.  In a twist of fate, he suddenly has to sub for one of the drag queens in the act that replaced him and learns that he not only has a knack for this performance style, but that it can pay really well, too.  Determined to provide for his family, Casey forges The Legend of Georgia McBride and it is currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

When I was asked to review this show, I cocked an eyebrow at the synopsis as I wasn’t certain how much mileage could be gotten out of the joke of a drag queen Elvis.  Turns out it was quite a bit as this show flies.  Matthew Lopez has written one of the best comedies I’ve seen as it truly made me laugh out loud with jokes and one-liners I never saw coming, but also has sensitivity and depth with several moving, heart-wrenching moments. 

OCP’s new Associate Artistic Director, Brady D. Patsy, has a fabulous directorial debut with this production.  Patsy has a firm grip on the beat changes of this story which is especially impressive as it often slides from over the top hilarity to raw, heart attack seriousness, sometimes within the span of a few beats.  Patsy does some impressive staging with Jim Othuse’s unique three pronged set (1/3 being the club’s dressing room, 1/3 being the club’s stage, and the other 1/3 being the apartment of Casey and his wife, Jo) as he makes use of each tiny space in such a way that it never feels bunched up or cramped.  Patsy has also led his thespians to platinum performances with nary a weak link in the group.

The show has some singular supporting performances from Dennis Collins as the prickly club owner/manager whose awkward introductions improve as the influx of money into the club increases.  Olivia Howard shines as Ryan’s wife, Jo, the level headed partner who justly frets about the lack of income to cover their living costs, especially with their incoming arrival.  Brock McCullough generates laughs as the soused Anorexia Nervosa whose passion for booze matches her inflated ego, but McCullough also gets one of the most devastating moments of a night with a monologue about true bravery in the face of prejudice.  Giovanni Rivera is a delight as the slightly nerdy best friend of Casey.

Ryan Figgins has one incredible acting debut as Casey.  Figgins has some fine instincts, a sincere delivery, and the guts to just dive into a role.  Figgins gives Casey a very decent nature and a slight immaturity as he’s a big kid who hasn’t fully adapted to adult responsibilities with his obliviousness to the family finances.  But when the pressure is on, he rises to the occasion as he’s willing to become a drag queen to pay the bills.  Figgins has phenomenal facial expressions from his heart in this throat looks when he does his first Edith Piaf number to his extreme confidence once he’s formed the identity of Georgia McBride.  Figgins also has a fine tenor voice with his song “Lost and Found”.  Figgins just needs to be a little louder in his more serious moments and to move the fingers on his left hand when he is playing the guitar to show chord changes.

Ryan Eberhart just eats the role of Miss Tracy Mills.  He is so theatrical and fits the larger than life nature of Mills to a T.  His mentoring of Casey in the art of drag queening are hilarious, but Eberhart is also capable of some serious acting such as when his Mills teaches Casey an important life lesson of figuring out who you are and hopefully to figure it out faster than she did (though Mills is enjoying the third 20 years of her life).

Jim Othuse’s lights help to enhance the show especially with the sometimes failing Cleo’s sign.  Lindsay Pape’s costumes are top of the line especially with the gowns and dresses of the drag queens and Casey’s Elvis costumes.  John Gibilisco’s sounds really suit the mood of the show from the use of Elvis numbers for the scene changes and the songs used in the revue scenes.  Roderick Cotton’s choreography help the realism of the revue scenes and make for a very entertaining curtain call.

If you’re looking for a laugh filled night that will put a squeeze on your heart at the same time, then go see The Legend of Georgia McBride.  It’ll cure what ails you.

The Legend of Georgia McBride runs at the Omaha Community Playhouse through Sept 18.  Showtimes are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets start at $36 and may be purchased at the OCP Box Office, by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at OmahaPlayhouse.com. Due to adult language and themes, this show is not suitable for children. The Omaha Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

A Legend Opens New OCP Season

Omaha, NE– The Omaha Community Playhouse opens its 22/23 Season on Friday, August 19 with The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez. The show will run in the Howard Drew Theatre through September 18 with performances Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $36, with prices varying by performance. Tickets may be purchased at the OCP Box Office, 6915 Cass St., Omaha, NE 68132, by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at OmahaPlayhouse.com.

SHOW SYNOPSIS: A Southern straight boy and out-of-work Elvis impersonator discovers a hidden talent—and a way to pay his mounting bills—after a drag queen convinces him to fill in on stage for one of her shows. Now if he could only find a way to tell his pregnant wife about his new hobby. A laugh-out-loud comedy filled with music, heart and plenty of sass. Disclaimer: Contains adult language.

Directed by: Brady Patsy

Cast

Ryan Figgins as Casey
Ryan Eberhart as Miss Tracy Mills
Brock McCullough as Anorexia Nervosa
Olivia Howard as Jo
Dennis Collins as Eddie
Giovanni Rivera as Jason

OCP Anounces Auditions for Season 98 Openers

School of Rock

Director: Stephen Santa
Choreographer: Melanie Walters
Music Director: Jim Boggess

Youth Auditions
*10-14 or look within that age range*
June 4th 1:00pm – 4:00pm
June 5th 6:00 – 9:00pm

Adult Auditions 
June 12th 6:00pm – 9:00pm
June 13th 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Adult Callbacks
June 21st 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Audition Preparation

Youth Instrumentalists
Please prepare a 45-second-1 minute rock and roll solo. Be prepared to learn a few notes from the show! A drum kit, keyboard, and amp will be provided. Please bring your own guitar or bass with cables.

Youth Singers
Please prepare 32 bars of a contemporary musical theater song or rock/pop song.
Cold Readings from the script will be provided.

Adult Auditions
Please prepare 32 bars of a contemporary musical theater song or rock/pop song.
Cold Readings from the script will be provided.

Click Here for Character Breakdown

Please complete the audition form and e-mail Dana Smithberg at dsmithberg@omahaplayhouse.com to schedule your audition time.

AUDITION FORM

The Legend of Georgia McBride

Director: Brady Patsy

Auditions
June 5th 2:00pm – 5:00pm
June 6th 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Callbacks
June 8th 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Character Breakdown:

CASEY: Man, 20’s, white. 

A charismatic and good-looking small-town high school football star turned Elvis impersonator, with the biggest of hearts. He loves his wife ferociously; dreams big, if not always practically; but his charm and optimism are infectious. Married to Jo. He becomes Georgia McBride, his new drag queen persona with Elvis/country/rock and roll roots; a force of nature; sexy, flirtatious, athletic, joyous, and fierce. NOTE: The role requires dancing in heels, lip-syncing, and singing. Playing guitar is a plus.

JO: Woman, African American. She is Casey’s wife.

A hardheaded realist who is prone to being fatalistic, insecure about her appearance, but still a striking young woman. Determined, quick-witted, tough without being bitchy. Loves Casey wholeheartedly; she’s his grounding force. Supportive of Casey’s dreams, but aware of their financial hardships, and her newly discovered pregnancy.

MISS TRACY MILLS: Man or non-binary, 40s-59s, any ethnicity.

A well-seasoned and very gifted Drag Queen, Professional, Confident, and very funny, with a heart of gold. Tracy’s bitchiness is of the harmless variety. Intelligent, kind, protective, resourceful, and nurturing. A natural mentor and drag mother to Casey. She combats strife with a razor wit and a steely determination. Equal parts inspiration and desperation. When she’s not embracing her drag persona, she is Bobby, Eddie’s cousin. NOTE: The role requires dancing in heels and lip-syncing.

REXY/JASON: Man or non-binary, 20s-30s, any ethnicity.

Rexy: Fiery, Combative, Emotional, she’s a sharp-tongued drag queen with a dark past and destructive behavior; a trashy girl who fancies herself the most sophisticated lady in the room. A fellow drag performer of Miss Tracy Mills.

Jason: Casey and Jo’s sweet-natured best friend and neighbor. Casey’s high school buddy and now Landlord. A young father, henpecked at home, surprises you with warmth and insight. NOTE: The role requires dancing in heels and lip-syncing.

EDDIE: Man, 50s-60s, any ethnicity.

The no-frills owner of Cleo’s Bar on the beach in Panama City, Florida, and Bobby’s (aka/Miss Tracy) older cousin. Easily flustered, rough around the edges, a walking ulcer, but a huge heart. His curmudgeon exterior shields his open-hearted generosity and empathy. He starts off as the world’s worst emcee but transforms into an amateur showman who secretly loves the spotlight.

Please complete the audition form and e-mail Dana Smithberg at dsmithberg@omahaplayhouse.com to schedule your audition time.

AUDITION FORM

Auditions will be held at Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE)