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  At The Wake of a Dead Drag Queen at Raven Theatre

At The Wake of a Dead Drag Queen

Raven Theatre
6157 N. Clark St Chicago

At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen by Terry Guest is a one-act, two-hander play about Blackness, queerness, and the fine art of drag. From African goddesses to Shirley Brown to Trina, At the Wake thoughtfully uses the conceit of drag performance-the taking on of another persona-to explore identity, illness, and the narratives we construct for ourselves. Come party at the wake.

Presented by The Story Theatre

Thru - Sep 22, 2019

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 3:00pm


Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-338-2177

thestorytheatre.org/current-season



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  At The Wake of a Dead Drag Queen Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...There are more than a few moments of sublimity, including a breathtaking pas de deux to Shirley Brown's "Woman to Woman." There is also an exquisite deconstruction of lip synch acts that follows their trail from Beyoncé to Josephine Baker to the countless ancestors who came before. The big picture the play paints in words and drag dance involves centuries of "history, acknowledged, questioned and redefined." You need look no further than the New York Times's 1619 Project to understand that's exactly what history needs right now."
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Catey Sullivan


Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Drag is the wrapping used to deliver these performances to us, and we were lucky enough to have performers Terry Guest and Paul Michael Thomson unwrap these people before our eyes. A wake is a celebration of a deceased loved one, but a wake is also the ripple in the water behind a boat as it sails forward. This play presents the wake of Courtney when looking back on her life, but also presents the wake of Courtney by leaving us with the waves that her absence washes over those who she tried not to become entangled with. To live is to make an impression on the earth and in others’ hearts."
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Sophie Vitello


Chicago On Stage - Recommended

"...At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen opens The Story's second season with style. This is a small company that is not afraid to take risks, as evidenced by last year's Leave Me Alone, and now, as a resident company at Raven, they have a wonderful house to perform in. If Friday night's enthusiastic sold-out house is any indication, this company is doing things right. The play's brief three-weekend run is its only major drawback; catch this impressive, appealing production quickly before it disappears."
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Karen Topham


Picture This Post - Recommended

"...Though you know a funeral is coming, and that this is an update to the themes of how The Plague robs us of so many of the best and the brightest, it still creeps up on us slowly. Like the two fun loving characters, we sense HIV's presence more from a stolen glance here or there. If you, like this writer, could barely suppress sobs while watching A Normal Heart or Philadelphia Story, know that your bigger challenge AT THE WAKE OF A DEAD DRAG QUEEN is trying to give your smile muscles a break. You too may also appreciate the script's nuanced update on Georgia culture and what the black/white divide looks like in a purpling state."
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Amy Munice


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