Awake and sing! The church of Taylor Mac has opened its doors. Let the rejoicing begin.
Get your head spun, your politics woke and your theatrical aesthetic cracked wide open … for six hours … at “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”
Performance art prankster cum rock star Mac sings the body eclectic in this 24-hour dramatic marathon, performed in six-hour chapters at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. The Burning Man of the theat-uh world, this badass drag show meets “radical fairy realness ritual” runs through Sept. 24 and be assured that you have never had such an experiential night of performance. Ever.
The first kaleidoscopic chapter of this epic American history reboot takes us from the revolution to 1836. Think Andre Gregory-style theatrical experiment meets drag, drinks and duration.
Sporting series of teetering headdresses of tinsel, cork and balloons, Mac, who prefers the gender pronoun judy, shimmies from the birth of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to the Cherokee songs on the Trail of Tears via “Oh Good ale” and mesmerizing sea shanties. From G-strings and flapper frocks to drag art pieces, the costumes by Mac collaborator Machine Dazzle always up the ante on this avant-garde fever dream, a music hall gone mad that electrifies the mind and the emotions alike. The unflagging Mac sashays through the song list (246 over 24 hours), from Redcoat ballads to rock fugues, with so much charisma and electricity the volts recharge the audience over and over.
For those of us who nodded off during American history class right around Betsy Ross, Mac’s insights into the spiritual and philosophical birth of the nation are as startling as they are unsettling.
The seeds of all our culture wars are planted deep in the American consciousness, it seems, and they will never be easily yanked out.
The artist-diva occasionally hands…