alibi online
Weekly Alibi PodcastFree Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.21 No.50 | December 13 - 19, 2012 

Performance Review

Even Drag’s a Drag

The Dolls’ holiday show lacks polish and shine

Wes Naman

When I walked into the sold-out Aux Dog Theatre on Saturday night, I thought I was in for a treat. The Dolls have been making a name for themselves since 1996 with their original material and drag-tastic interpretations of classics like The Importance of Being Earnest and Blythe Spirit. They're purported to be the crème de la crème of the Albuquerque drag scene. So it was a surprise and a disappointment to find their latest offering, Miss Mary Christmas, such a chaotic mess.

“The play is cute, having fun at its own expenxe and giving a knowing wink to the local drag community.”

Leigh Hile

The new play by founding Dolls member Kenneth Ansloan centers upon a fictitious Christmas drag contest set in Albuquerque. Four drag queens vie for the title of Miss Mary Christmas: First, there's Drew Campion, a.k.a. Tequila Mockingbyrd (Kenneth Ansloan), a once-renowned queen of the New York stage washed up in the New Mexico desert. And then there's Ivana Cocatoo (A.J. Carian), a young, bored rich boy who got into the game in search of excitement only to discover “even drag's a drag.” There's Jenny Tonic (Aba Ortiz), who has recently come out and subsequently been spurned by her family. And finally, there's Connie Adovada (Jaime Pardo), the wicked villainess sick of being “the Susan Lucci of Albuquerque drag,” who will stop at nothing to win the coveted crown.

The play is cute, having fun at its own expense and giving a knowing wink to the local drag community. And it would have been a lot funnier if it hadn't sabotaged itself at every turn.

The entire performance seemed to run as one giant, two-and-a-half hour wardrobe malfunction. Because the story takes place largely in the dressing room backstage of the competition, we see outfits flying on and off hangers, and a lot of quick changes from one costume to another. Inexplicably, the performers were unable to pick up a dress or wig without knocking over a piece of the set or getting it caught on the furniture. Ill-fitting costumes bunched, twisted and slid about awkwardly on nearly every actor. At one point, Ivana Cocatoo's dress simply fell off altogether.

It wasn't only the costumes that received slapdash treatment. The song-and-dance numbers came off as sloppy and under-rehearsed, and many of the actors were still reaching to remember their lines. Jokes fell flat as actors stumbled over dialogue and missed the timing completely. The only notable exceptions are Jay Kincheloe and Jim Johns. The two stole the show as Candy Apple and Abby Normal, respectively—old guard Albuquerque queens turned “drag mothers” to two of the younger contestants. The production’s energy instantly revived when they stepped onstage, and the humor worked as they bickered with each other and pecked at their young mentees.

This was the opening weekend for Miss Mary Christmas, so it's only natural that the performers should still be working out the kinks. Even so, the show seemed a long way from the polished piece of comedy I expected from a collection of queens whose good name preceded them. Was this just a fluke, a bad case of opening jitters? I’m curious to find out; I’ll see them at their next production.

Miss Mary Christmas

Runs through Dec. 23

Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Sunday at 2 p.m.

Aux Dog Theatre
3011 Monte Vista NE

Tickets: $15.50
View in Alibi calendar calendar

Today's Events

Thor at South Broadway Cultural Center

The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

Made in the Desert Opening at form & concept

Get Crafty with Recycled CDs at Juan Tabo Public Library

More Recommended Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    tartar control and more
    tartar control and more7.20.2016