Taylor Mac: master of audiences

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We fell in love with Taylor Mac's tragic sense of humor, ribaldry, and affection at this year's Spoleto. So did everyone else, it seems, after the cross-dressing performance artist left town. His virtuosic command of the audience, his assurance on stage, his ability to provoke and coddle and swing your emotions. The man, so to speak, is a master. Here's a review of The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac in New York in today's Times.

Mr. Mac, working in drag but not in drag clichés, has the ease and bantering skills of a veteran stand-up comic, yet he can shift effortlessly to a more somber tone when he wants to drive home a message. His mastery in this one-man show is all the more impressive when you know that he is alternating “Be(a)st” with “The Young Ladies of ...,” an equally demanding solo work inspired by letters his father received when stationed in Vietnam.

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