Thursday, May 3, 2012

Arias With a Twist Turns Woolly Mammoth Into DC Drag City

It's great to know that the last play at Woolly Mammoth appears to have been an anomaly of awfulness. After Civilization (All You Can Eat), it is very comforting to see my favorite DC theater return in force with Arias With a Twist.

This is a very strange drag show featuring a queen named Joey Arias. She is a one-piece firecracker who is absolutely impossible to stop watching, unless of course you were one of the few people who walked out (but why would you walk out? didn't those people have an inkling if what they were getting themselves into?).

In the title, Arias stands for her last name and Twist stands for master puppeteer Basil Twist, whose grand designs of aliens and devils and everything devious matched with stunning light projections make this show true eye candy.

The story, which doesn't really matter, is about Joey Arias, who is captured by aliens that perform an untoward surgery upon her. She is banished to an isolated forest. Later, she makes her way back to civilization and stomps all over Manhattan ala King Kong.

Arias belts out classic rock favorites by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and others. She not only does a great job of singing nearly non-stop for 90 minutes, but adds strange and captivating originality to all of it.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is one of my favorite movies (I admittedly have never seen the stage production). Arias With a Twist is no Hedwig, but it is the second best thing in the drag/cabaret category.

**** out of ***** stars

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