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Monday, July 20, 2015

(OUTview NW) RE-view: T22's WIZZER PIZZER is an Ambivalent Journey to Ex-Gay Land!

by MK Scott

Pride Continues in Seattle with Theater22's much anticipated production of Wizzer Pizzer: Getting Over the Rainbow by Amy Wheeler and Directed by Corey D. McDaniel, just when Wicked hits the Paramount for the upteempth time, Wizzer is a new telling of the Wizard of Oz with an Ex-Gay focus. Yes, we know Ex-Gay movements  still exist and also was the focus of last years, SRT's A Great Wilderness, that Ex-Gay Movements are a Dying breed. Again we must be reminded of their existence in a way that it is better to communicate with Lions, Tigers and Bears, oh My! In this production's case, Drag Queens, Dykes and Drunk Latin Jesus, Oh My!

As I saw this production this past weekend at the new 12th Ave Arts Space, We meet Adrian (Eric Mulholland), a Drag Queen getting ready at a Drag Club to perform as Judy Garland. We Also meet Drag King, Frankie (Rhonda Solkowski) who is more butch and manly than even the guys in the production. It turns out Adrian and Frankie are roommates and Adrian, who only goes after Straight guys, seeks comfort from the bottle and late night TV, while Frankie brings over a female conquest.

On TV, we meet Dr Marvel (Lisa Viertel) who is modeled after Dr. Laura, and Adrian calls into to her show and she says she has the answers he seeks. Adrian Rushes out and we hear a crash.

For Act 2, Adrian wakes up in a world of a dreamlike Ex-Gay Camp/Center with 2 other converts (Matthew Sherrill and Pilar O'connell) and we meet an Ex-Gay Couple, Steve ( Chip Wood)  and Helen  (Alyssa Keene) who run the camp. Dr. Marvel occasionally appears on a big TV monitor in a very Wizard like role and knowing everything  that goes on.

Frankie shows up smitten by Helen and Vice Versa. Everyone assumes Frankie is a Man and is already a success story. In one Funny Scene, Steve shows the "Men" how to wrestle and end rolling on the floor with the Latin Hunk convert (Sherrill), while Helen Teaches tomboyish convert (O'connell) how to apply makeup as she flirts with Frankie.

Steve realizes he wants Adrian and must meet in Secret. While Helen is getting cozy with Frankie.

While Seeking for Answers, Adrian meets Drunk Jesus (Sherrill) at the after-party (Yes, there is always an after-party) and decides to be true with himself and everyone. After a few big reveals (No Spoilers), Adrian wakes back to reality and finds his true meaning.

I was quite impressed with Matthew Sherrill's performance of  4 Characters and going from accent to accent as well as Solkowski's strong performance as the Perfect Dyke to the Perfect Man.

Despite Adrian being annoying in the beginning and all the self-hate, Home is what you make of it. Stay on the (GAY) Path and it will set you free! Amen!

Wizzer Pizzer continues at 12 Avenue Arts through August 1st, Click HERE for Tix and Info

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