REVIEW: Denver Center Off Center’s DragOn
By: Brock Benson
Commissioned by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Off-Center and written by Jessica Austgen; DragOn is the hilarious journey of an awkward and lost little queen finding her true identity, and fulfilling her destiny as “the chosen one”. The play is a gender-bending delight with a small cast of four males and one female playing all the eclectic roles. Directed by Joel Ferrell this talented cast includes Anthony Adu as Bobbi Brooklyn, Stuart Sanks as Mother of Drag, Reace Daniel as Storm/Wonder Woman, Tyrell D Rae as Catwoman/Princess Leia, and Heather Hughes playing The Doctor/Gatekeeper. All of the actors did a fantastic job playing their parts and generating consistently strong characters. Stuart Sanks, as the Mother of Drag delivers an iconic archetype bringing us a character that can only be described as the love child of Bea Arthur and Khaleesi. Anthony Adu does a smashing job of playing the awkward gangly queen that develops into a full fledge super queen, but watch out; the physical comedy is strong in this one. Tyrell D Rae has stage presence that just never quits, a beautiful man and a strong actor to boot. With the cat-suit, the whip, the cloak, and the gun, this vicious vixen is just H-O-T HOT! Reace Daniel is not someone I have ever seen under the proscenium before and I’m happy to report that this guy is a real character! Watching him prance around on the stage with his giant wig and his perfect yoga body and taking in his energy is like watching four chorus members all rolled up into one. I found his performance to be the stand-out performance of the night. And let’s not forget Heather Hughes, showing up late in the show to bring some much need masculine energy and help carry us through to the end.
What I found most memorable about the script was how clever it was put together, especially when the characters break from dialogue and jump right in the middle of some seriously fierce lip syncing verse. It would be easy to ruin the show with poor song choices, but that was not the case tonight. The energy is fast paced and all over the place, but I never lost track of what was going on. And what is going on? A really well done, cleverly campy, ferociously funny drag show with tons of laughs and plenty of heart. It has a story line that works, characters that are over the top hilarious, and a crew that clearly knows what they are doing.
With Comic Con coming and Denver Gay Pride happening now, this show in the perfect companion! DragOn starts at 7:30, which makes it the perfect show for anybody who wants to grab a few friends and a couple drinks and start the night out with some serious laughter. See it now through June 25 at the Garner Galleria Theater at the Denver Center. For tickets or more information, check them out online at www.denvercenter.org.