"Far from a drag; another Hope Mill hit!"
Originally written for the stage in 1995, Douglas Carter Beane’s 1995 film ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar’ opened at the box office to mixed reviews from critics. Since then, it has become a cult classic and has officially (and finally!) been given the musical theatre treatment at a time when it is needed the most.
The well-trodden plot follows three drag queens: Vida Boheme (Peter Caulfield), Noxeema Jackson (Gregory Haney) and Chi Chi Rodriguez (Pablo Goméz Jones). Upon an unexpected journey to Hollywood, they find themselves stranded in Middle America with nothing but a broken-down Cadillac, their suitcases and a trunk full of attitude to help them along their way. Though set in the 90s, the themes presented in this production echo the reality of the world in which we live today- a key reason for Beane feeling that now was the right time for a revival in the first place. The irony that drag bans in North America hindered initial try outs for this show isn’t lost on the audience and, from the beginning, the script lays down the law on acceptance and rights - its tongue firmly in its cheek but its intention loud and clear. It really is a love letter to the art of drag and everybody who just wants to be accepted.