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Christmas With the Crawfords 

A popular drag queen revue is back home with a fresh batch of bad hair

Wednesday, Dec 10 2003
This trumped-up drag queen revue started as an underground San Francisco sensation in the early '90s and went on to play New York. It's back home this year with a fresh batch of bad hair. Joan Crawford has just been "fired" from MGM when a gossip reporter shows up at her Brentwood mansion to broadcast a radio interview from the family living room on Christmas Eve 1944. Gary Cooper's throwing a Christmas bash next door. Joan was not invited, but that doesn't stop a string of drunk or otherwise confused screen legends from staggering on in search of the party. Gloria Swanson, Carmen Miranda, Judy Garland, and the Andrews Sisters all take advantage of the radio show to break into song, while poor upstaged Joan tries to hide from the audience that her children call her "Mommie Dearest" and stay tied in bed until "Mommie's headache goes away." Hedda Lettuce plays a steely, imperious Crawford, but Matthew Martin's Judy Garland and Mark Sargent's Ethel Merman steal the show -- despite the best efforts of Trauma Flintstone, in ropes of plastic tinsel as Gloria Swanson, performing a medley of songs with the word "Gloria" in them. Christmas is a better-than-average drag show, thanks to the gleeful singing and the sharp choreography by director Donna Drake.


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