by Ed Malin · February 28, 2014
Playwrights on New Plays #51 Ed Malin shares his thoughts on Drag Queen Stole My Dress, part of FRIGID new york Gillian English, star of last year's Frigid show Love In The Time Of Time Machines returns with a funny one-woman show Drag Queen Stole My Dress. Close to the beginning of this warmly interactive show, she asked if anyone in the audience was married, to which I raised my hand. It was gently pointed out that since I am a man, I probably did not buy the wedding dress. Thus my education in these matters began.
Clad in a beautiful off-white wedding dress topped with a veil (why does the veil cost more than twice as much as the dress?), Gillian tells the story of how, once in rural Nova Scotia, she saw this amazing dress on sale and bought it while yet not-engaged. The power of personal goals brings her to tell everyone that marriage may be in her future just so she and her boyfriend can move in together. The dress is something she wants, and that's why, no matter what anyone tells her, she gets it. In the world of this show, small town life can be abrasive. The benefits of relationships seem to come with potential in-laws attached.
Despite all the obstacles, it is great to see what one can do if one believes in oneself. One thing one can do is take a show on the road. But there, too, there is a danger that other performers might cross boundaries in communal dressing rooms and steal one's most precious posessions. The fighting back part is exciting to witness.
Director Chris Gibbs takes this true, eye-opening story through its ups and downs. Some of the ups and downs involve Gillian putting herself on a pedestal to view herself in her dress. It no doubt was all very stressful when it was happening, but as a performance piece it is delicious and triumphant.