Theatre Review

Epic’s ‘American Drag’ overwhelms the senses

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Director, producer, writer, actor Kevin Broccoli follows up on his successful “American Strippers” with an overwhelming production of “American Drag,” which has little to do with the former play. In fact, “Drag” is usually thought of as a man dressed up in a fancy wig and made up to look like a beautiful queen.

In this play, men are women and women are men. A man (Jason Karol) plays Amelia Earhart, while a woman plays his/her husband, Poseidon (Laura Ash). The Greek gods Pan (Angelique Dina) and Zeus (Becky Minard) find themselves on Earth with human bodies. They set out to recruit gods and famous people to band together to create a “new American charismatic religion.” There is interaction between Ronald Reagan (Rebecca Maxfield) and Jesus (Carson Pavao) and Hades (Lee Rush Schwartz) and Betsy Ross (Betsy Rinaldi). It is easy to get lost in the multitude of posers raised by Broccoli, as he searches for answers to what makes up the American Dream.

The huge cast sits at tables with their backs to the audience, coming forward, usually in pairs, to raise questions and issues about our values, hopes, dreams and sexual preferences, occasionally bursting out in song and dance.

The two-hour production, with one intermission, will certainly hold your attention and get you to think about the roles of men and women in both mythology and history. The large cast seems to be having lots of fun performing this overwhelming production.

“American Drag” plays through April 27 at Artists’ Exchange, 82 Rolfe Square in Cranston. Go online at www.epictheatreri.org for tickets and information.

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