What happens when a cast of drag queens accidentally ends up on a senior citizen cruise? That will all be revealed in The Drag Boat, the fourth in the series of George's Truck Stop and Drag Bar plays performed at Evergreen Theatre.
The original production, being put on by Friends of George's, opens on July 29th and runs two weekends.
The play's protagonist, Maybelline (played by Bill Zachery), wins a free cruise through a fruitcake contest at her local Piggly Wiggly. But when she and her family and friends board the ship, they realize they're surrounded by old folks.
"It's a loose take on the TV show, The Love Boat," says Ty Phillips, a scriptwriter and board member for Friends of George's. "It's not a parody of the show, but it's loosely based on it. If you're a fan of the campy old show, then this would be a fun show to watch."
In The Drag Boat's prequels, George's Truck Stop and Drag Bar 1 & 2, the crew of queens from the burned-down Krankshaft drag bar take refuge in George's Truck Stop, where they entertain the redneck patrons in the seedy diner. The third in the series — Dragnificent — was a variety show featuring the same cast of characters.
Friends of George's was originally formed in 2010 to organize a reunion of former patrons of the long-defunct George's, one of the city's oldest and most-beloved gay bars. After the successful reunion, the group became a resident theater company with TheatreWorks at Evergreen.
"A lot of our audience members used to attend George's Disco in the late-'60s and '70s," Phillips says. "It was like the community center of that time, and they were known for their very elaborate stage shows. They rehearsed. It was wasn't like people just showed up and got on stage, so we try to bring that level of quality to our productions, too. We take a more theatrical approach to doing drag shows."
Each production benefits a local LGBTQ nonprofit. Proceeds from The Drag Boat will go to the Tennessee Equality Project.