The Drag: A Homosexual Comedy in Three Acts
Time & Location
About The Event
Vermont Pride Theater will present a staged reading of Mae West's 1927 play The Drag: A Homosexual Comedy in Three Acts. This is VPT's ninth annual winter benefit, the proceeds this year going to Vermont CARES, which works throughout the state to prevent the spread of the HIV virus and to connect those with HIV/AIDS with culturally sensitive medical-care providers.
Mae West, queen of the sexual double entendre and an early supporter of gay rights, considered her play to be a "comedy-drama of life". Set in the repressed '20s, it's the riveting story of two love triangles which cross the lines of social and economic class and defy the sexual norms of the day. After successful try-outs in Connecticut and New Jersey, West opened it in the NYC area, where it ran for 10 performances before being closed down by the police. However, it never ran on Broadway due th New York Society for the Suppression of Vice's efforts to ban any attempt by West to stage it there. She explained, "The city fathers begged me not to bring the show to [Broadway] because they were not equipped to handle the commotion it would cause."
Even during its short run, the play generated furious reviews. Variety called it "...an inexpressibly brutal and vulgar attempt to capitalise on a dirty matter for profit." And one Broadway producer described it as "...the worst possible play I have ever heard contemplating an invasion of New York", and that it "...strikes at the heart of decency."
Director Tess Holbrook (Burlington) has cast more than a dozen talented actors from the area: Amos Byrne (Winooski), Izzi Byrne (Winooski), Maureen Hennigan (Reading), Louisa Holbrook (Tunbridge), Sadie Holbrook (South Burlington), Andra Kisler (Northfield), Jacob Martin (Chelsea), Peter Mendes (White River Junction), Ramsey Papp (Randolph), Janine Reeves (Bethel), Mark Rosalbo (Randolph), Arthur Smith (Roxbury), and Jeff Tolbert (Randolph). Come join them for a campy evening of old-time theater, for a great cause.
Sponsors of this reading are the Gay & Lesbian Fund of Vermont, the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, and the Vermont Conference United Church of Christ. Media supporters are Vermont Public Radio, The Point, and 105.7 The Beat.
-- Adults $22 in advance, $25 at the box office on the day of the show -- Students $12 in advance, $15 at the box office on the day of the show
-- SNAP/3 Squares participants, $5 at the box office on the day of the show
-- Student groups of 10 or more can purchase $8 tickets, but only by contacting Chandler in advance.