February 24, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Breaking Down Gender Barriers in The Garage Theatre’s “Genderf*ck Cabaret”

Being placed in a box can feel very constricting when you are, in fact, human-shaped rather than box-shaped. The Garage’s “The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret,” by Mariah MacCarthy, celebrates breaking out of the constricting box of stereotypes we are often placed in as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The play – narrated by “engaging gender-bender, Taylor,” the Garage website describe them – revolves around the adventures and hurdles of eight characters navigating through their everyday lives. The audience follows the characters as they intersect with each other, facing “typecasts of how they perceive they should act, and how they truly choose to behave,” the website states.

Photo: Courtesy The Garage Theatre.
Photo: The Garage Theatre. Host/Narrator Taylor (Alyssa Garcia)

The play dives right into the world of genderbending and questioning one’s identity when host/narrator Taylor suggests that, by the end of the day, everyone in the audience has broken gender presentation expectations in some shape or another. Taylor goes on to explain how simply existing in their own body is a gender identity challenge for others. Queer women look at Taylor, wondering if it makes them straight. Straight men look at Taylor, wondering if it makes them gay to have a crush on them. It is at this point Taylor points out audience members, making them squirm in their identity, much like the discomfort Taylor feels daily.

“Genderf*ck” tackles stereotypes without becoming one itself. The play points out the expectations and societal roles each character has, yet does not manipulate them into characatures of themselves. The sporty girl can feel soft and vulnerable, the straight man who everyone presumes gay can comfortably jam to Beyonce during his breakup because … well, Beyonce. Even the proverbial and literal Dick (that’s his name, I swear) has a sweet side, buying his little nephew a Pomeranian dog because, despite the weird genderization of pets, Dick wants to make his nephew happy.

The cast and characters are so diverse that it is easy for everyone to relate to some aspect of the play. Whether it be the strong, man-hating – yet questioning and growing – lesbian, or the man’s man, reads-the-signals-all-wrong, guilt-ridden antagonist, the characters and relationships they build with each other reflect similar values and interactions often encountered in the real world.

Photo: The Garage Theatre. Kate (Lottie Frick) kisses love interest Taylor (Alyssa Garcia)

The play marries the real and the fantastical in a seamless effort that allows the audience to slip away from the struggles of real life for an evening. Not to give away all of the magic, but the play incorporates whimsical shadow puppetry, highlighting the diversity of the cast and crew’s artistic ability while provoking comic relief, or etherial trances. “Genderf*ck” also has an incredible bright and vibrant dance number that is reminiscent of Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp,” pointing out the absurdity in life and relationships. In the end, everyone just wants to be wanted and accepted.

The Garage’s “Genderf*ck Cabaret”  is running now through Aug. 25 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.thegaragetheatre.org/on-stage-now-1.

This article was updated on Aug. 6, 2018.

Related Posts

Upcoming HBO Series About Drag Shows

February 21, 2020

February 21, 2020

“We’re Here” Debuts this spring By Staff Writer Learn more about a new HBO series debuting this spring that revolves...

New Pride Festival for Los Angeles Area

February 21, 2020

February 21, 2020

By Staff Writer A new Pride festival is coming to the Los Angeles area this May. This year, for the...

Transgender Care Services Coming to Baldwin Park

February 18, 2020

February 18, 2020

By Staff Writer A new Planned Parenthood center opening soon in Baldwin Park will provide transgender care services to a...

Texas Files Suit Against California’s Travel Ban to State

February 18, 2020

February 18, 2020

Texas asks U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California’s travel ban to Texas By Sam Catanzaro Texas is asking the U.S....

WeHo Opens Nominations For 2020 Rainbow Key Awards

February 18, 2020

February 18, 2020

Nominations will be Accepted Until Thursday, February 27 By Staff Writer The City of West Hollywood is gathering nominations for...

News Brief: Calls for LGBTQ CA Supreme Court Judge

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Sen. Scott Winer and Assemblymember Todd Gloria introduce send letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom By Kerry Slater Two prominent state...

Addressing LA’s Increase in Syphilis

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Legislation introduced to allow expanded rapid testing By Chole Marie Rivera February 4, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced legislation...

Cirque Du Soleil Presents Equality Night at Dodger Stadium

February 12, 2020

February 12, 2020

Proceeds benefiting Los Angeles LGBT Center By Chole Marie Rivera On Thursday, February 13 Cirque Du Soleil hosted Equality Night,...

Edify TV: LGBTQIA+ Health Conference

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

Learn more about the annual Southern California LGBTQIA+ Health Conference that was held last weekend at the David Geffen School of...

LGBTQ+ Representation in the Entertainment Industry

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

Continuing its commitment to lead the push for diversity, equality and inclusion of quality LGBTQ+ content in entertainment, ClexaCon is...

City of WeHo Commits More Funds Toward LA Pride

February 10, 2020

February 10, 2020

By Chole Rivera The 50th Annual L.A. Pride is on the horizon and the City of West Hollywood recently took...

Man Charged for Series of LGTBQ Attacks in Culver City

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

Joshua Immanuel Ebow charged for Culver City and West Los Angeles attacks By Sam Catanzaro A former delivery driver has...

Honoring National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the ONE Archive

February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on Friday, February 7. In the LGBTQ+ community, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects gay black men...

Q&A: Being Openly Gay at LA Opera

February 3, 2020

February 3, 2020

The scene: Eurydice always imagined that her wedding day would be a day she’d never forget. But after a tragic...