Cress, TJ, Jeff, Ronnie, several of Ronnie's way-fun fellow teachers and I gathered last night for the big show at Missie B's in Westport. It was already gratifying to learn Ron and company had sold out nearly all of their shows. Tickets were soon secured from the awesome Dirty Dorothy and Ron's paramour Jon, Grey Goose was being sipped and we were ushered into the theater. I has been in this smallish space before with Keith and the Posse (a bittersweet memory that included Carolyn before her accident), Ronnie and the BN gang and other friends and we typically caught various drag shows here. Soon, the curtain rose and the scene was alternately exciting and comfortingly familiar: a ramshackle set that definitely felt like vintage Late Night Theatre. Finally, the Girls made their way onto the stage and they were all smashing: Chadwick Brooks did a delightfully daffy Rose, Gary Campbell was a hysterical Sophia, Jon Cupit killed as sex-drenched Southern Belle Blanche and Ron Megee WAS Dorothy in typical gut-busting fashion. Megee gave us every hilarious Bea Arthur tic and even threw in a (much-appreciated) nod to Maude (that theme song is now stuck in my head....again).
I won't talk about too many specifics of the show though, because it needs to be experienced live, but suffice to say, it was crystal clear: Late Night Theatre was indeed back and beautifully, bawdily so. Once again, the sheer irreverence and off-the-cuff madness had me twisted up from laughing so hard....tears of laughter streamed down my face, my sides just ached and Holy St. Olaf, it just kept coming. Once again, if laughter is the best medicine, a Late Night Theatre experience is like a day at the spa. Once again, sitting in the theater watching Ron and company is like we've been invited to an exclusive, anything goes performance where you can't wait to see how they will top themselves with every scene and they do every damn time. Once again, the genuine warmth and generosity the performers themselves show each other (despite their constant jabs at each other) and the audience itself brings an intimate feeling to these productions that I've grown to cherish. And speaking of generosity, this gang never forgets their community....they circulated around with buckets collecting funds for the 2014 Aids Walk after the show.
The next part, however, was a first for me. We went upstairs and met the cast and had our photos taken with Ron as Dorothy.
Golden Girls cast and crew, you were magnificent. Ron Megee, thank you for being a friend and bringing back Late Night Theatre. We are so very grateful and seriously can't wait to see what's next!