Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

'Legend of Georgia McBride' review: Drag queen comedy

From left: Dave Thomas Brown, Matt McGrath and

From left: Dave Thomas Brown, Matt McGrath and Keith Nobbs star in "The Legend of Georgia McBride." Credit: Joan Marcus

The synopsis and title, "The Legend of Georgia McBride," are not promising: A straight Elvis impersonator becomes a drag queen to support his pregnant wife.

But this 100-minute comedy by Matthew Lopez (author of the dead-serious "The Whipping Man") is the sweet-natured surprise of the young season.

We're in a poor Florida town. Casey (Dave Thomas Brown) is a lousy Elvis impersonator but a loving husband of the altogether lovable Jo (Afton Williamson). When he gets fired in favor of a couple of drag queens, he joins the show but doesn't tell the wife. Naturally, he gets very, very good at it.

The fun is in Lopez's theatrically knowing dialogue and Mike Donahue's lot-with-a-little direction on Donyale Werle's detail-crazed, tiny set. The five actors are all shrewdly delightful, but the galvanizing center is Matt McGrath as Tracy, the exquisitely smart mother superior-star of the shabby show. Lopez tosses in a little message about drag and gender nonconformity, but even the lecture is entertaining.

WHERE Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St.

INFO $69-$75; 212-352-3101;

More Entertainment