The Golden Girls at Gay Bar the Rock Is In Desperate Need of a Laugh Track

As we were leaving for a matinee this past Sunday, my spouse said to me, "This has got to be the low point in your career." It was hard to argue with him, but I was hopeful that the play we were headed to — a live-action re-enactment of the TV sitcom The Golden Girls, staged at a local gay bar — would be fun and campy in some new and delightful way.

It was not. It was, instead, four men in dresses, reciting the script from this TV Land staple about four old babes who live together in Florida — and one of the worst scripts, too. This one involved Rue McClanahan's character (the slutty one) sharing a beau with Estelle Getty (the cranky Italian one) and the hilarity that ensues when the old guy dies. Except that there was no hilarity. Nor was there any attempt by the "actors" to impersonate the women they were portraying (which confused me — I thought that was the whole point of drag performance); no timing or blocking or much of anything theatrical.

Inserting naughtiness — muttered asides about condoms and lube and rather a lot of dry-humping, which drag queens apparently consider hilarious — didn't help. I did find it amusing that, unlike their television counterparts, these Golden Girls have silver Lurex draperies and a disco ball on their living room ceiling. What they don't have is a laugh track, which they needed, or anything much in common with the TV Golden Girls except that they all look like men in dresses.

Not so Golden; not such Girls: The cast in repose.
art credit here
Not so Golden; not such Girls: The cast in repose.

Location Info

Map

The Rock

4129 N. 7th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85013

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Central Phoenix

Details

The Golden Girls continues through June 30 at The Rock, 4129 N. 7th Ave. Call 602-248-8559 or visit www.therock.comdmphoenix.com.

The sitcom shtick was brilliant compared to the pre-recorded commercials — faked-up ads for hairspray and cures for "feminine odor" — that were projected onto a wall between scenes. The audience, mostly young men in black T-shirts with the arms sawed off, greeted these unfunny blackouts with stony silence.

There was one nice thing about this production: It was short; only a little longer than an actual half-hour sitcom. And I thought it was polite of one of the performers to warn us that there would be audience participation, although I didn't think it was necessary for him to describe exactly what it would entail and when it would occur.

At curtain call, one of the befrocked men warned us that if we didn't like the play they'd just presented, we should "shut the fuck up or we'll find out where you live." I was briefly frightened by this; I pictured a bearded Bea Arthur jumping out from behind my bougainvillea and forcing me into a garish, shoulder-padded pantsuit. But I'm not afraid of drag queens. I've witnessed a cross-gendered re-enactment of an '80s sitcom in a gay bar; nothing scares me anymore.

 
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9 comments
Submerged10
Submerged10

Phoenix New Times needs better reviewers. New Times snarky little writers need to be replaced.

Theruih
Theruih

What a sad little man this reviewer seems to be, I pity this guy as he appears to have NO Sense of Humor. Perhaps he should go crawl under a rock and leave the reviews to someone with a life which he clearly does not have...

JAE
JAE

Its really too bad that you would sit and judge people who are just trying to make a living doing what they love to do , and offering something different to the community ........ok true ... there was no completely naked boys singing pointless songs with half hard ons or anything ... but i have to say your WRONG . The show was great I think the actors did an amazing job making the characters their own and ALSO ....... keeping to the story of the original . The commercials were completely hilarious and actually fit the theme of the show . Maybe you and your "PARTNER" should get out of the house more..... there is life beyond lean cuisine and trips to ikea . PANDORA PRODUCTIONS AND THE AZ GENDER OUTLAWS ROCK ......... !!!

Ivanna Dooche
Ivanna Dooche

your review is in desperate need of a laugh track, oh you weren't trying to be funny... SORRY MY BAD....

guest
guest

hey your boss called, they said to stop being a douche bag to the theatre community...

Sawed off T shirt
Sawed off T shirt

Hey Robrt- Vanna White just called... She's got your missing vowel. Unfortunatley no one can help you with your taste and your profession. Sorry !

Franky
Franky

Ok so maybe this show won't receive an Emmy nomination, yet I think the review is way to harsh. I was there that same Sunday when this "so called" reviewer was. BTW you need an 'E' in your name Robrt. Pandora DeStrange who played Blanche (the slutty one) was great. (S)he was by far the best to follow Blanche's cues, mannerisms with attitude and grace. I even thought the actor who played Sophia (the cranky Italian one) was funny. His stance, hand gestures were an homage to Estelle Getty's character.

Lighten up dude. I give kudos to this troop, it beats the other crappy stuff out here in Phoenix that is considered drag. Please a 50 year old drunk in a dress lip syncing old country tunes from the 50's, insulting their audience named after a cat is considered entertaining???? I applaud The Rock for offering different types of drag at their venue. But then again I forget I live in Phoenix (the city that always sleeps) - where the only thing cool thing these locals like is playing darts and pool while drinking beer out of a plastic mug. Oh and another little tid bit for you Robrt- (with the missing E)- drag IS men in dresses.

I even enjoyed their commercial breaks. I appreciate the time these actors took to learn the lines, create an atmosphere for their guests and offer a fun Sunday afternoon show. Obviously, you didn't get the humor of it when we were told "if you don't like the show shut the fu*k up or we'll find out where you live" RELAX DUDE, put your number two pencil down relax and enjoy the show. They were funny and entertaining.

Oh one more thing I was not wearing a black tee with it's arms "sawed off"...it's called a tank top you fool. It's what you wear when it's hot outside. But I guess you were in your tux as you are a fancy reviewer for the Phoenix New Times. What does it matter anyways on what some of the audience members were wearing when you are reviewing a play?? This guy should stop being so critical of others creativity and maybe critique himself. Where do i sign up?

Pandora DeStrange
Pandora DeStrange

I have to say...I thought it was odd when we received a request from Robrt to come and review a drag show. Especially when we were all aware of his dislike of Camp, Drag and Audience Participation (which he wrote a long article about during our show Koko: The Island Adventures of Miss Koko Neufchatel, where he proceeded to blame "the jews" for audience participation in theater). So, assuming that he finally went on anti-depressants and maybe was getting some deep dickin' that put him in a better mood, we agreed to have him come and review some drag queens having fun with a sitcom that they love. Clearly, he is still the bitter and jaded queen we have all grown to love. Lighten up Pela...WE thoroughly enjoyed looking out into the audience to see the look of disdain on your face! AND for the record, many of our audience members thoroughly enjoy our tasteless commercials and our take on these timeless ladies... Which is why we received the Best Drag Queen Show in Phoenix from The New Times recently!Smooches xoxoThe AZ Gender Outlaws

 
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