Taylor Mac is not your run-of-the-mill drag queen.
For the 46-year-old playwright and performance artist, the pageantry is nothing without challenging his audience to consider existing another way, even if it means feeling uncomfortable. Take, for example, the queer prom portion of his 24-hour-long marathon stage show (which sometimes Mac performs over the course of two days to a week; only once did he accomplish it in a single day): A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, during which Mac performs 246 popular songs from 1776 through 2016 across 24 incredible costume changes. For the prom, he asks the audience to respectfully embrace strangers and dance as if it were their prom. The piece, which New York Times critic Wesley Morris called “one of the great experiences” of his life, also earned Mac a MacArthur Genius grant in 2017 and a spot as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize the same year.
For the holidays, Mac and longtime collaborators Machine Dazzle and Matt Rey have curated a show that boasts Mac’s penchant for the subversive. Holiday Sauce spans all the uncomfortable holiday musings and invites special guests, including Detroit’s Thornetta Davis and Steffanie Christi’an. There will also be a post-show photo booth experience, in which guests can take a portrait with Sexual Consent Santa.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Power Center for the Performing Arts; 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor; 734-763-3333; ums.org. Tickets are $35+ and $12-$20 for students.
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