Entertainment » Theatre

A Little Orphan Tranny Christmas

by Clinton Campbell
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Dec 8, 2015
"A Little Orphan Tranny Christmas"
"A Little Orphan Tranny Christmas"  

It is that time of year again -- holiday carols, endless shopping, office parties...fruitcake. Not to mention the myriad of options for saccharine entertainment. From the endless showings of "It's a Wonderful Life" to the endless run of The Holiday Pops.

Luckily for those who are a bit more (shall we say) jaded, Ryan Landry and his Gold Dust Orphans come to the rescue once again with "A Little Orphan Tranny Christmas."

This year's extravaganza focuses on the adventures of everyone's favorite red-headed hermaphrodite orphan, Tranny, as she strives to settle into her new home at Grey Gardens in time for Christmas.

Of course, as with any good Christmas musical, there are many obstacles in her way. Not only must she escape the clutches of Mrs. Grinchley's orphanage/brothel, but also dodge Whitey Bolger and Whitney Houston who are out to sell her to the highest bidder -- Daddy Trumpbucks.

But our Tranny has her supporters too, including (our favorite Kennedy relatives) Big Edie and Little Edie, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and her doe-eyed paramour, Jerry. Each one helping at moments that are both crucial and dangerous for our little Tranny. (Leepin' Lezzies!)

As with any Landry show, this adventure is not for the faint of heart nor the easily offended. But for the rest of us, it is a laugh out loud, raucous evening. There's sex, drugs, disco lights, half (?) naked dancers, furry animals, guns, bad comb-overs, air battles and plenty of fashion lessons from Little Edie. How else would any self-respecting person want to celebrate the holidays?

The cast is fantastic. Ryan Landry is once again perfect as Mrs. Grinchley -- the wise cracking, green faced, Madam/orphanage director. And Jessica Barstis portrays our little orphan Tranny with all the wide eyed innocence of a strung out Liza Minelli in a bath house circa 1972.

Everyone should have Olive Another's Little Edie and Larry Coen's Big Edie as life coaches. Who else will be there to scream "You are not special!" just when you need it the most? And Little Edie's monologue on skirts should be required viewing for all future "Project Runway" contestants.

Now... is this a glitz and glamour production with fancy sets and costumes? Hell, no! This is camp with a capital "C." It is so refreshing to see a farce where every single performer is 100 percent committed to whatever they are doing -- no matter how insane. It is to Larry Coen's credit as a director that he can garner that much trust from his performers.

Ryan Landry and his Gold Dust Orphans prove again why they have such a loyal following in Boston. So put on your cha-cha heels, head down to Machine, grab a drink, and settle in for the fun.

"A Little Orphan Tranny Christmas" continues through December 20 at Machine, 1254 Bolyston Street, Boston, MA. For more information visit the Gold Dust Orphans Facebook page.

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