VOL. 23 - NO. 44
DEC 9 - 16, 2018
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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: S.F.’s Curran Celebrates the Season with “Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce”

Nov 30, 2018
by Evan Almdale
Celebrating the holiday season in all of its dysfunction, “Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce” is currently performing at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) through December 1, 2018.

Opening with the Velvet Underground’s ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song’ is a clear indication that “Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce” isn’t going to be your average holiday concert. Instead, it’s a really a cross between Beach Blanket Babylon and Rocky Horror Picture Show with entertaining music.

Taylor Mac, an elaborately ornamented drag artist, is joined by longtime collaborators including set and costume designer Machine Dazzle, music director Matt Ray, and a band of eight to reframe the songs you will love and the holidays you might hate.

Mac takes the stage in dramatic fashion, emerging out of a giant steaming cauldron in a dazzlingly outlandish red-and-green getup with Medusa-like locks, green suckling pig shoulders and a tentacle-like skirt of candy-striped elf arms and reindeer horns. If that doesn’t get your attention then nothing will! It’s a sampling of the decadent costumes that are concocted by Machine Dazzle, who also designed the tinsel-lined set and also pops up as a performer in a Christmas tree getup. Funky!

The few carols Mac sings are a little over-the-top, such as his melodramatic rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” His rendition of “O Holy Night” is actually quite lovely; that is, before he frequently interrupted it to talk about how problematic he finds the religiosity of the lyrics and how one might change the meaning without changing the words.

“I actually made this show because I really like holiday music but I don’t like any of the lyrics,” Mac says at one point. That’s a common theme of the show.

While the pace is often relaxed and informal, the show is full of bawdy outfits and burlesque, including a stripteasing angel Gabriel and a Sexual Consent Santa Claus.

While demanding a bit of audience participation, Mac commiserates about how nobody really likes that. “I want you to feel uncomfortable,” he says.

This show is Mac’s version of an ‘anti-holiday holiday cabaret.’ If one finds cracks about Christian dogma or a bit of nudity here and there a bit tawdry then this might not be the show for you. But if you’re up for an lavish celebration of queerness, delivered with an acid tongue in cheek, this saucy “Sauce” welcomes the holiday season with sparkle and zest.

Conceived, written, performed, co-directed, and co-produced by Taylor Mac, the creative team for “Holiday Sauce” includes Matt Ray (Musical Direction and Arrangements), Niegel Smith (Co-Direction), Machine Dazzle (Set and Costumes). Special Guest Performers include Machine Dazzle, Tigger!, Glenn Marla (as Sexual Consent Santa), and the local Dandy Minions and other surprise guests.



The “Holiday Sauce” band features Marika Hughes (Cello), Dana Lynn (Violin), Gary Wong (Bass), Bernice Boom Boom Brooks (Drums), J. Walter Hawkes (Trombone), Greg Glassman (Trumpet), Antoine Drye (Trumpet), and Viva DeConcini (Guitar).

Tickets for “Holiday Sauce” range in price from $29–$175 and are available by visiting www.SFCURRAN.com.

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Photo caption: Taylor Mac’s bawdy “Holiday Sauce” show combines musical numbers, bawdy jokes and routines and pointed commentary about politics, religion and the holidays. It plays at The Curran through Dec. 1.


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