February 3, 2023 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

Assemblymember Chris Ward Introduces Transgender Youth Privacy Act to Protect Minors’ Privacy

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Last month, Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego) introduced the Transgender Youth Privacy Act, requiring any petition for a change of...

Laguna Beach Closer to Having a New Pride Lifeguard Tower

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

By Susan Payne Laguna Beach was the recipient of a $10,000 donation from Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima for its...

Eszett Bar Is Now Closed, Lesbian Wine Bar to Take Its Place

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

By Susan Payne  Eszett, the natural wine bar off Silver Lake’s strip mall, is now closed, but a lesbian Wine...

Congressman Robert Garcia Sworn Into Office With Superman by Side

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

By Susan Payne This month, Robert Garcia was sworn into Congress with superman by his side.  Garcia, a self-described comic...

GLAAD announces 34th Annual GLAAD Media Award Nominations

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

By Susan Payne GLAAD, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer media advocacy organization announced the nominees for the 34th...

Los Angeles LGBT Center and April Housing Celebrate Historic Ownership Transfer of Triangle Square Affordable Housing for LGTBQ Seniors

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

Fifteen years after the opening of Hollywood’s Triangle Square Apartments, the nation’s largest LGBTQ-affirming affordable housing complex for seniors, the...

Jurors Unable to Reach Verdict in Fatal Crash Trial

January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023

By Susan Payne A 33-year-old transgender woman was convicted on Jan. 9 for a hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury...

San Francisco Launches Guaranteed Income for Transgender People Program

January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023

By Susan Payne San Francisco has launched a pilot program that guarantees income for transgender residents.  The Guaranteed Income for...

AIDS/LifeCycle Announces New Santa Monica Beachside Finish Line

January 19, 2023

January 19, 2023

545-mile bike ride to finish in Santa Monica June 10 AIDS/LifeCycle, the seven-day, 545-mile bike ride fundraiser traversing the golden...

California Protects Out-of-State Parents, Youth Seeking Gender-Affirming Care

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

By Susan Payne  Over 20 states have aimed to limit youth LGBTQ+ gender-affirming health care in 2022, but California is...

LGBTQ+ Side Quest Written in God of War Ragnarok

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

By Susan Payne Sony Santa Monica has hidden a tragic LGBTQ_ side quest in its God of War Ragnarok game,...

Senior LGBT Retirement Development in Palm Springs to Open in 2023

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

By Susan Payne  For LGBTQ folks looking for a supportive community in Palm Springs, Living Out is now accepting reservations...

Man With Gun Spotted Inside West Hollywood, Spurring Fear

December 26, 2022

December 26, 2022

By Susan Payne Weeks after a deadly mass shooting in a Colorado LGBTQ+ club, a man in a West Hollywood...

Gay Actor’s Affection for Date ‘Unwelcome’ at LA Restaurant

December 26, 2022

December 26, 2022

By Susan Payne  Support is being poured for a gay actor who was on a date at a Mexican restaurant...

OR Bar WeHo Now Open in West Hollywood

December 26, 2022

December 26, 2022

By Susan Payne West Hollywood welcomed a new gay bar in the city this month. OR Bar WeHo, located at...