San Antonio Texas October 2011
Ok, so, last weekend we visited Texas for 3 performances. The first show we saw was at the Woodlawn Theater in San Antonio. This show was sure to be a large scale production as it starred the one and only Sharon Needles. I am a huge fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race, so when I heard Sharon was going to be in the show that pretty much clinched the deal for a Texas road trip. It seems like every year there are several productions in Texas and I’m glad this was the year we finally loaded up the Scion and headed down south.
I had pretty high expectations of the show based on the press I had read and the news clip I had seen. The director said that they were re-imagining the show and it would be futuristic. I believe he said the costumes would have a bit of a “steam-punk” look. To be honest, I didn’t really find anything out of the ordinary about this production but it was still a solid show. The show looked great. Lighting, sets, and costumes were great. I felt like the stage was a little small for everything going on, but then Rocky is a big show. It needs a little room to kick up its heels. I thought Sharon did a fantastic job. She sang beautifully, and looked fabulous. I also enjoyed Columbia a lot. Her dancing was very strong and her flexibility made her interesting to watch. She sported a flapper costume and I thought that was an intriguing choice. I thought Rocky was cast very well also. His singing was good and he had a great look for the role. His Mohawk made him look very punk with a dash of Gerber baby thrown in to round out the character. I loved Dr. Scott. He was by far the funniest I have ever seen. He was responsible for some really humorous moments. When he says “my wheels, I can’t move my wheels.” He actually got up out of his wheel chair and tried to move it. And probably one of the funniest moments in the show happened at the end. Dr. Scott typically leaves the castle with Brad and Janet, but in this production he hopped up and said “Enough of this shit, I’m outta here.” He jumped off the stage and finished his lines as he walks right down the center aisle toward the back of the house.
I’ve seen many interesting Narrators over the years. I’ve seen the typical cranky old man, night club owner, sexy librarian, Max Headroom-style video, but this is the first show I have seen where the Narrator was a preacher. I thought it was a really interesting idea and it made the audience participation toward him even funnier.
Sharon’s initial entrance for Sweet Transvestite was from a large diamond type structure. It was visually very interesting. I also enjoyed her Floorshow entrance. She entered from a point very high on the set and floated in on a fly system. I think this entrance is often neglected, it was a nice touch.
I do wish I had the chance to see the show more than once, I think there were probably a lot more subtle nuances of the show that I missed suffering from car-lag. It was an all-around beautiful production and I do hope we see Sharon in more of these types of roles in the future.