Mac Attack Celebrates Drag & Rebellion
by Barry David Horwitz
Taylor Mac, MacArthur Genius Award winner, destroyer of Icons, Ironic Drag Queen of Assault on Patriarchy, singer, comic, wit, and Ruler of Outrage has done it again. You cannot contain his attacks on the status quo—because he has earned his mascara from Mother Flawless Sabrina.
Mac floats down in a huge black cauldron, in a fabulous rainbow-colored snaky Medusa headdress, wearing a wild ropey gown festooned with ornaments. His glittering dress features giant green epaulets of bright green pigs’ heads, complete with apples. Taylor Mac radiates radical Imagination, singing “Black Angel’s Death Song” by Velvet Underground as he steps gingerly from the cauldron.
As his drag Mama, Mother Flawless Sabrina, taught, “You’re the boss applesauce!” She inspireS him to use the distraction of Christmas, to wage war on the fake spirituality of the patriarchy.
Mac’s adoring cast of random musicians and outlandishly costumed friends turn the vast Curran theater into an intimate cabaret. Taylor Mac briefly descends into the audience, squeezing his multi-colored butt through a high-priced row of thrilled screaming patrons.
Baby Jesus, super-sized, rolls in on a sofa, helping Mac take down the whole consumerist Christmas mess. And Super-Mac “Sexual Consent” Santa cheers him on.
In his satirical songs, Mac exposes and condemn the sugary fake Holiday nostalgia. As “judy,” his personal pronoun for himself (after Judy Garland), he lovingly strums the ukulele, singing a Christmas carol. Sweetly, he tells the true story of his childhood, the most interesting part of the show. He tells us about his abusive father and a hard-hearted family, which gave him a hell as a gay boy who did not fit in.
Tayor Mac brings us tides of comfort and joy with a difference. He makes irreverence into a tool to attack capitalism, patriarchy, and American sentimentality. Taylor includes us, queer carolers all, as he sings “the Little Drummer Boy” with satirical intensity. When set and costume designer Machine Dazzle enters, totally disguised as a Christmas tree, all bets are off.
Taylor Mac has his own way with “You can’t always get what you want/ But sometimes, you get what you need,” making the Stones serve his purpose. Mac brings insights into his circus of satire: “When Christians took over a woman’s body and made her the vessel of Christ, could anything be more misogynistic?” As Mac says, “I don’t think Mary gave her consent.”
Mother Flawless Sabrina taught him to be the Queer Queen of Creativity and Citizenship. She said, “You have to commit to yourself before the universe will commit to you.” In Act Two, he is lowered down by wire in a positively Hieronymus Bosch glittering crown and flat red-skirt with dangling Christmas ornaments. Mac uses the worst excesses of Christian art to skewer the holiday.
Taylor Mac travels so far and works so hard to disturb the universe as we know it. He opens the door for an ironically more rational future.
“Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce”—conceived, written, performed, and directed by Taylor Mac, Music Director Matt Ray, Set & Costume Design Machine Dazzle, Co-Director Niegel Smith, at The Curran, San Francisco, through Saturday, December 1, 2018. Info: sfcurran.com
Cast: Taylor Mac, Matt Ray, Machine Dazzle, and many others.