by John Stoehr
At tonight's performance by Taylor Mac, a member of the audience was invited up on stage to pick through Mac's many articles of fabulousness to find the Mylar wrap. This was one of many funny shticks that Mac did in between touching ukulele songs and personal anecdotes about lost love and how good the world would be if it weren't so bad. It's the best clowning you'll see at the Spoleto Festival.
What Mac didn't know until the man got on stage was that he was German and his English was very shoddy. He had a hard time understanding what Mac was saying. Mac would sing and prance on stage: "Find the Mylar! Find the Mylar! Find the Mylar!" and the German didn't know what he was talking about. Finally, he found it. As if to reward himself, he wrapped the pink Mylar around his neck.
I asked him about the German's bad English backstage after the show.
"He kept asking me to speak slower," Mac said. "It must have been a long show him."
Mac's three shows have sold out, so Spoleto booked a fourth show. Called The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac, it's a bit dated. There is a feeling of wanting to her fresher jokes, material more current with the times. Mac has admitted as much in interviews with local press. Even so, the stage queen takes you on a brilliant journey, with a surprising number of emotional ups and downs. Like the court jesters of medieval Europe, Mac's persona seems to want to take in all the world's pain and just to give back a little joy.