George’s Truck Stop and Drag Bar Part 2 at Evergreen Theatre 

Play commemorates legendary downtown gay bar.

Once upon a time there was a Madison Avenue nightclub called the Twilight Lounge. The gay hotspot was renamed for its owner, antique dealer George Wilson, when it moved into new digs at 616 Marshall in 1979, and became famous for producing superior drag shows. The bar's final incarnation was called GDI's On the River, a gay disco inferno at the corner of Front and Huling. Regulars had other names for the popular dance spot, though. It was also known as George's Truck Stop and Drag Bar, and sometimes called the Crisco Disco.

click to enlarge George’s Truck Stop and Drag Bar
  • George’s Truck Stop and Drag Bar

GDI closed in 1990, but its memory — especially the memory of the drag shows — never faded. In the fall of 2010, a group called Friends of George's organized a reunion that was so popular that the group has continued to produce George's-themed events, including a pair of original plays called George's Truck Stop and Drag Bar Parts 1 and 2. Set in the fictional Krisko County, George's Truck Stop told the story of Maybelline, a diner employee who burns down the neighboring drag bar where her color-blind son dances to spare him further embarrassment. The displaced drag performers take up residence in the truck stop across the street, and a completely new concept is born.

click to enlarge Delta Fawcett
  • Delta Fawcett

"The first George's Truck Stop and Drag Bar was written and staged in 10 weeks, start to finish," says playwright Ty Phillips. "We didn't even have a director." Nevertheless, the show attracted capacity crowds. "This time, we have a director," says Phillips, thrilled with the response his project has received. George's 2 picks up where Part 1 left off, bringing back popular characters like L'Oreal, Mary Kay, and a unique drag performer named Sofonda Tuna.

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