nytheatre.com review by Garry Schrader
August 14, 2009
Lurlene lives in a trailer park in the South, but dreams of bigger things: ruling the catwalk as a supermodel, "posing for the pavarotti." Her nemesis is Chocolate Puddin', once a blaxploitation near-diva, now reduced to scrounging for "watermelon and a five-dollar bill" while nursing her unending resentment of Pam Grier. Meanwhile, in New York City, the hedonistic but good-hearted Zarzoufa, an Arab playboy reveling in a life of boys, drugs, and "GucciPrada," learns to his dismay that he must quickly design a line of haute couture discowear if he is to stay bankrolled by Daddy's dollars. And finally, somewhere in the hinterland, a lonely boy goes to bed dreaming of "the two sexiest words in the English language: Soccer. Team." He will be visited in the night by a bling-laden ghostly visitor, a trash-talking superhomey who also happens to be solo performer Jonny McGovern's signature character, the defender of embattled "faggots" everywhere: The Gay Pimp!
All five characters memorably and hilariously converge one night in a Gotham club, songs are sung, destinies are formed. They converge as well in creator and performer McGovern (under the direction of Courtney Munch and with the onstage "live sounds" of DJ Tekshur, whose genuine delight in McGovern's performance adds to the fun). Without benefit of costumes or scenery, McGovern skillfully evokes these diverse and outlandish characters, who, if they are not deep, seem true. Once again, we're in New York City as transfiguring Oz, the place where we shed our old repressive identities and become, for a night at least, as long as the music, drugs, and dancing last, the loving, loved, and fabulous people we knew we were always meant to be. It's an enduring myth, and fun to visit with a host as talented and funny as Jonny McGovern.