Location:Home > sneakers > " and he's directing the Missouri premiere of the comedy at SCT Center Stage. Credit (Poster design

" and he's directing the Missouri premiere of the comedy at SCT Center Stage. Credit (Poster design

Time:2018-12-01 19:20Shoes websites Click:

Arts News Rick Dines Mark Gideon The Legend of Georgia McBride

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Director Rick Dines and actor Mark Gideon.

Rick Dines calls "The Legend of Georgia McBride" "one of the funniest plays I’d seen in years," and he's directing the Missouri premiere of the comedy at SCT Center Stage.

Credit (Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

“The Full Monty” meets “The Birdcage” in the Springfield-area premiere—indeed, the statewide premiere—of the music-filled comedy about singing your own song, “The Legend of Georgia McBride.” It opens tonight (Nov.30) at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza, corner of Robberson & Pershing downtown.  The cast features Christina Gardner, Mark Gideon, Lavelle Johnston, Roland Netzer and Jon Sidoli.  Mark Gideon and director Rick Dines joined us on KSMU’s “Arts News.”

Rick Dines describes the lead character, Casey, as “a sweet young guy, he’s been working at this dive bar in Panama City, Florida as an Elvis impersonator for small, meagre crowds”—and, we might add, a small, meagre paycheck. “But it’s his passion. And he finds out at this point in time that his wife’s pregnant, and they’ve bounced the rent check and are in danger of being evicted.” But that’s not all.  “The bar is cancelling his Elvis act because it’s just not bringing in enough people. The bar owner has decided to bring in his cousin (to replace Casey as the lead performer at the bar). And lo and behold, on the scene arrives ‘Miss Tracy Mills’, the legendary B-level drag queen!”

Mark Gideon plays the drag-queen cousin of the bar owner. “Oh, and she is so much fun!” he laughs.  “Tracy is a role of a lifetime for me. She is campy and fun, and has great lines, and it’s just a joy to play this part.”

Casey stays on at the joint as a bartender—he desperately needs the money. “Then one night,” says director Rick Dines, “Tracy’s sidekick in crime, Rexy, has a drunken backstage roller-skating accident.”  The show must go on, and “Casey adopts a sort of ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’” attitude “and... learns some new skills,” Dines tells us—skills he doesn’t necessarily WANT to learn, but “desperate times call for desperate measures.” And he has to acquire these new performing skills “Very quickly!” adds Mark Gideon.  “And from there a star is born!”

Rick Dines calls Matthew Lopez “a wonderful, award-winning playwright. (The play) debuted in Denver originally, and then played New York two, two and a half years ago—and has become one of the most popular, most-produced regional pieces of the last year and a half. And we’re actually the Missouri premiere of it—it’s being done other places (in the state) later in the season.”

Mark Gideon ordered a copy of the “Georgia McBride” script as soon as he heard of the show. “I was reading it at home, and I’m laughing out loud!” (Always a good sign.) “If a show reads funny, you know when you get it onstage it will be hilarious.”  Rick Dines first saw a production out in the San Francisco Bay Area a little more than a year ago.  “And it was one of the funniest plays I’d seen in years! And I was like, ‘this—we have to do it!’  It’s just a crowd-pleaser from stem to stern.  Somebody asked me about it the other day. I said it really is kind of the child of the Neil Simon comedies, because it just crackles with that kind of one-liner wit, and at the same time is a very well-structured, very well-written comedy with a lot of heart.”

Actor Mark Gideon (“Tracy Mills”) calls Dines’ production—and the intimate setting of SCT Center Stage—“the perfect setting for this show.  The audience will really feel like they’re in the club, Cleo’s, a bar on the beach in Florida. Because, especially when we’re doing our drag numbers, we REALLY play to the audience—so much that they may be going ‘oh, dear—she’s right here on my lap!’”

The cast includes Roland Netzer as Casey—“who becomes ‘Georgia McBride’.” (Dines doesn’t seem to mind letting that spoiler-alert slip out—“that becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly,” he says.) Lavelle Johnson is double-cast as Rexy, as well as portraying Jason, Casey’s best friend from high school and current landlord.  Christina Gardner plays Casey’s wife Jo.  Jon Sidoli is Eddie, the bar owner with the drag-queen cousin (played by Mark Gideon, as we said).  

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