Jamison Stern Steps Out In Stilettos In TheaterWorks' 'Georgia McBride'
“I guess Connecticut likes me in heels,” laughs actor Jamison Stern.
Four years ago the New York-based actor starred as Albin, the outrageous drag chanteuse in Goodspeed Musical’s production of La Cage Aux Folles.
This month the wig, lashes, and that sashay way will be back when he plays the well-seasoned drag performer Tracy in Matthew Lopez’s comedy The Legend of Georgia McBride at Hartford’s TheaterWorks. The show, staged by Rob Ruggiero, plays Friday, March 16 to Sunday, April 22. Lopez’s work has often been seen at Hartford Stage with his plays The Whipping Man, Somewhere, and the world premiere of Reverberation.
In the play, Casey, a straight young man whose career as an Elvis impersonator has tanked, turns in desperation to drag where, after being mentored by an older veteran performer—think of it as a drag version of My Fair Lady—finds that he’s the newest sensation in heels under the persona of Georgia McBride.
“Tracy is a warrior drag queen and through an accident of fate she has to turn Casey instantly into a drag queen—which is not possible in real life, I think, but through the magic of theater it happens.”
What’s Tracy’s look going to be for the show?
“We’ve decided she is a Hollywood glam queen,” says Stern. “We’re going old school with the great ladies of theater and film,” he says. “Think Streisand, Garland, Tallulah, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and all those ultimate feminine powerful women, but I wanted to be sure I looked pretty this time.”
Because of the quick changes in La Cage there wasn’t the opportunity to do an all-out glam look for his character.
And Jamison Sterm's Drag Tips for Straight Men:
• Tip number one: No fear. “That’s it.”
• “Never leave the house without your lashes.”
• Don’t worry about changing your voice. “You’re a drag queen, not a woman.”
• Walk proudly. “Your center of gravity is completely different in heels. They change the shape your whole body. Heels are a beautiful a thing on a woman—or a man. They do amazing things for the body.”