Playwright: Heather Branham Green. At: Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 773-598-4549 or GorillaTango.com; $20. Runs through: May 26
Over the years, Gorilla Tango Theatre has built up a solid reputation for burlesque spoofs of pop cultural phenomena. Game of Thongs or A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque, anyone?
Now with the premiere of GoldiSocks and Her Three Bears' Fabulous Fairy Tales of Drag, it appears that Gorilla Tango also wants to lure crowds away from Boystown to Bucktown to see campy drag shows. But the dubious quality of GoldiSocks makes it clear that Gorilla Tango is going to have to produce much better quality material if this drag plan is going to work out.
GoldiSocks has the basic performance ingredients for a potentially good drag show. There's three appealing lip-synching and shade-spilling drag queens in the form of Coco Sho-Nell in the kleptomaniac title role, Vivian Dejour as the haughty pageant queen Autumn O'Shade and Kalli Mauri as the skeptical Deejay Vonderthrash. The three "bears" include the leather-clad Daddy Bear ( a verbally adept Mark West ), the comically scrawny Cubby Bear ( an endearingly awkward Graham Thomas Heacock ) and the beefcake Sugar Bear ( the impressively hunky Stanley Escobar, who does wonders with a stripper pole ).
But all that talent is left rudderless due to Heather Branham Green's piss-poor GoldiSocks script. GoldiSocks is a show desperately in need of a workable framing device to elucidate exactly why we're being retold dragged-up versions of The Ugly Duckling ( now The Ugly Dragling ) and Little Red Riding Hood ( now Little Red Riding C**t ).
Green's notion of GoldiSocks being a talk show isn't made crystal clear. Also, it's simply not enough to regurgitate well-worn catchphrases ( and tongue pops ) from RuPaul's Drag Race to spruce up the dialogue.
With the need to fit in lip-synching numbers, dance and dialogue, everything feels rushed and crammed-in with director Chris McGriff's basic production.
The costuming ( or lack thereof ) is fine, though the lighting is just rudimentaryespecially when compared to MidTangent Productions' past drag fairytales like Snow White and the Seven Drag Queens or Twinkie and the Beast. Those shows had better scripts and both utilized the fabulous dance floor lighting capabilities of the Boystown club Hydrate to dazzling effect.
If only the GoldiSocks script and overall production lived up to its flashy lip-synched drag numbers filled with wincing death drops and hilarious facial grimaces. So with GoldiSocks, you're probably going to be thinking "Too Vague" or "Too Rushed" much more that you will ever satisfactorily think, "Just Right."