Monday, February 18, 2019

Lashed But Not Leashed is Totally Lovely

Is drag having a golden age? 

Photo by Gustavo Garcia

Between *the* Ru Paul, the effervescently gorgeous (and shamefully overlooked this awards season) Pose on FX, and the preponderance of local drag brunches like Flip Phone immediately selling out, it seems there's never been a better time to do drag.

Lashed But Not Leashed, a part of the Guthrie's "Get Used To It" series to celebrate queer artistry, fits perfectly into this tradition. Starring drag queen Martha Graham Cracker, Lashed But Not Leashed manages to weave subjects as disparate as library science, the ghost of Joe Dowling and the funkiest all-white jazz combo you'll find anywhere together into one neatly laced corset. Part monologue, part cabaret, and part impromptu concert, Lashed But Not Leashed is a whole lot of fun.

Photo by Gustavo Garcia

The whole thing only work thanks to the charisma of host Martha Graham Cracker. She reminded me of a cross between Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot and Cecily Strong on Saturday Night Live. While her voice isn't classically beautiful, Martha Graham Cracker's utter confidence and witty banter really won me (and the rest of the audience) over. She has an intellectual style to the monologue that kept taking surprising turns, and I really appreciated the time she took to customize the show to the location at the Guthrie. I can easily see how this is a show that could endlessly please; it's short (less than 90 minutes), accessible, and completely unintimidating. I really liked it.

Photo by Gustavo Garcia

Martha Graham Cracker's on-stage band was very well put together, keeping a tight quintet that had everyone engaged. They flex very well along with Martha's wandering (both physically and verbally), and it was easy to see they were having a whole lot of fun. I would happily have returned to watch a variation of this group multiple nights in a row - which is not something I often will say. Combined with the mostly-female team behind the scenes, the whole event had a really cozy, thoughtful, ladies-who-brunch feel that I really appreciated.

Photo by Gustavo Garcia

Unfortunately Lashed But Not Leashed has already sashayed away from the Guthrie's Level 9 studio, but you're in luck: there is still one more performance available this coming weekend as part of the "Get Used To It" series. Click here to learn more and get your tickets before this innovative, exciting celebration of queer artists leaves the stage.

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