Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for December 2010
BY Brandon Voss
December 16 2010 5:00 PM ET
For five years, Mimi Imfurst has made her annual Christmas show — in which she plays the Blessed Virgin as a bawdy lounge singer — an unmissable holiday tradition. The RuPaul’s Drag Race season 3 contestant continues to prove herself a confident comedic actress as a delusional Cher impersonator in Zach Carey’s satisfying Burlesque spoof, Boylesque. Candi Shell plays Chris Tina, a super-hung gay boy who becomes the star of a drag club in Akron, Ohio. Matthew Brown takes on her closeted bartender roomie, Jake Lemmenes out-gays Stanley Tucci, and Blackie O tackles a Nikki-Coco amalgam named Spearmint Twizzler. Ideally, you’d want to see the movie first to catch the many clever in-jokes, but the script still scores when it veers from its inspiration source. Boylesque camps up the Laurie Beechman Theatre through December 17.
Justin Bond, who has called himself a “trans-fabulous performance-activist,” is on to something special with Christmas Spells, his second annual holiday celebration at Abrons Arts Center through December 18. Or he might just be on something, which would explain his marvelously motley variety show’s poor pacing and lack of polish, particularly during a raunchy playlet — adapted from Kate Bornstein’s short story “Dixie Belle” — in which Bond, aided by an outrageous gender-fuck dance troupe called the Pixie Harlots, narrates the adventures of Huck Finn as a trans hooker in a New Orleans brothel. But even if Bond flubs lyrics to a few holiday standards, he knows how to spin a sordid tale and sell a song. Croons Bond in his standout original “Christmas Spells,” “Could baby Jesus in his manger foresee the hate sprung from that night?”