Seeing a show at The Laurie Beechman is an experience in itself. Getting there is an adventure, traipsing through the outskirts of Times Square, it’s already dwindling Disney-fication melts as you enter Hell’s Kitchen. It is an old school type cabaret show space where you sit down at communal tables with a waiter and watch the show with everyone around you offering up a truly New York experience. These are the types of shows where I prefer to indulge in a dirty martini, so I ordered one of course. I had known of the show’s existence but wasn’t sure of the content. The only thing I knew was that it was based on the runaway hit TV show The Simpsons.
Having seen the main star, Cissy Walken, in previous shows and having been there to witness the early stages of her drag career, I knew I was in for a fun night for sure. Except for one song in the show’s centerpiece, “To Know Him Is To Love Him”, sung live as a very convincing Marge Simpson by the star and current reigning Miss Stonewall, Cissy, the entire show was lip-synched. It was a bombastic cavalcade of pop and Broadway songs, pop culture shoutouts, political pronouncements and comedic exuberance all tightly choreographed by the five actors each playing various Simpson family members and friends. I was mesmerized by the lightning speed costume changes, the clever repurposing of songs and the overall joy that emanated from the stage.
This was their third and last performance of the show, but new dates are rumored to be in the works. It was a feisty, racy and heavily gay-themed parody of the show, performed through the aperture of The Simpsons by a group of fresh and exciting talent that has been ravaging through and delightfully standing out within the currently overpopulated NYC drag scene. Remember, The Simpsons were born out of The Tracy Ullman show, therefore the subversive energy was there all along to tap into. Cowritten and conceived by the entire cast which includes Cissy Walken, Coco Taylor, Andy Starling, Pussy Willow, and Aria Derci, these girls certainly did their homework.