Saturday, December 9, 2017

Review: The Perfect Christmas Gift

By Michael Block

Tis the season for the good tidings and gay apparel. Alongside her closest pals, Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner rings in Christmas with her newest holiday extravaganza. Hoping to put on her twisted rendition of A Christmas Carol, Paige and friends run up against a plethora of obstacles while searching for the true meaning of Christmas. The Grinch May have stolen Christmas, but Paige Turner defiled it. Paige Turner’s Christmas Carol is a perfect stocking stuffer.
photo by Michael Block
Back at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, Paige Turner has fantastically twisted Christmas and in turn, created quite possibly one of the best Paige Turner shows to date. The show tells the tale of Paige’s attempt to put on her spin of the Dicken’s classic. Her uber long and twisted version casts her slurp as Tiny Twink and the beloved Jackie Cox as an old hag, among others. And to give this show a boost, Dante invites his Grandma CC into the fold. CC being of course Carol Channing, as portrayed by James Mills. As they hit roadblock after roadblock, we learn just how ridiculous Paige’s adaptation is while sprinkling in some of her best-written parodies yet. Phylicia Rashad is all you need to know. This holiday show worked because it didn’t attempt to be more than it was. It moved along fluidly while maintaining its comedic integrity. The more we ingratiate ourselves in the mind of Paige Turner, the more her world becomes realized and comes to life before our eyes. The stakes are certainly low here, but Paige commits to giving each individual a purpose and an arc. Dante, effortlessly played by Remy Germinario, gets one of his biggest moments yet. He’s so lovingly stupid that you just want to pinch his cheeks. In the other shows, Jackie Cox is the butt of the jokes. We see how it bothers her, but, like a good side kick, she brushes it off and doesn’t bother her. To now see a different side of Jackie, through her animosity with Carol Channing, offers depth to the character. Mills plays upon the wackiness of the Carol we know and love, while being completely out of touch to the world. The Paige Turner persona, in this theatrical setting, is just a bit out of touch, but the moments of real world self awareness are brilliantly funny. The digs, jabs, and references bring the audience inside the jokes and keep things fresh. Like any great drag show, the quartet turned out look after look. Special recognition should be given to Gloria Swansong for the stunning dress Paige donned at the top of the show.
The holiday cheer was in full gear at Paige Turner’s Christmas Carol. Paige Turner is a staple in New York City and the drag community at large. If there’s one holiday show to check out this season, this one’s probably it.