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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 3, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 27
Georgia Ragsdale's mostly-comic memoir, Follow You Everywhere, was the hit of the weekend
Arts & Entertainment
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Georgia Ragsdale's mostly-comic memoir, Follow You Everywhere, was the hit of the weekend

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

FOLLOW YOU EVERYWHERE -
A MEMOIR: GROWING UP AND
COMING OUT IN TEXAS
12TH AVENUE ARTS
Pride Weekend


The memoir production, Follow You Everywhere - A Memoir: Growing Up and Coming Out in Texas, written and performed by Georgia Ragsdale about her youth in suburban Houston, Texas, was the hit of the weekend for those who attended. Naturally funny, Georgia created a mostly-comic overview of her start in life, through her parents' 'coming in' (Georgia didn't 'come out' because high school kids told their parents and their parents told her parents and they came to her), to becoming a successful stand-up comedian.

The title comes from her desperately dismayed father telling her, when he found out she was Gay, that her sexual orientation would 'follow you everywhere' and basically destroy her life. But before that, life was pretty funny, particularly with a mother who could talk to anyone and make jokes with aplomb. Georgia showed, in the play, how she would follow her mother around and watch to see how her mother delivered her repartee. Georgia then strove to follow suit.

But the entire evening has to start at the beginning: impregnation! A very funny little dance, performed by ensemble players Lodi McClellan, Lisa Ravenholt, Jack Lush and Eric Pitsenbarger, includes a silvery disk, clearly meant to be an ovum, and little arrow-looking spermies trying to get inside.

Georgia narrates throughout as short dances, songs from the 1960s and 1970s, and short slide shows of family photos show that her mother earned her comparison to Jackie Kennedy, and Georgia was a cute little girl who went through the same awkward periods most of us did, especially with hair.

Georgia and her crew don't present as 'natural' dancers, mostly, and the staging has a rough-hewn feeling about it, but there is something heart-warming about the not-quite-perfectly-executed routines. It's slightly more akin to a 'let's put on a show about Georgia's family' spontaneous event than a polished theatrical presentation. Instead of a negative, it adds a comic feeling. The performers are clearly having fun, which translates to the audience.

The comic touches, like astro turf and shag carpet flooring, and silly wigs, make for a lot of visual jokes to see. Costuming also is key to the overall retro-ness.

The first act does get a bit somber, as the 'outing' and the family drama and upset are portrayed in the serious vein that happened, but in the second act, Georgia appears and announces it's years later and she is now in her stand-up comic mode. Then we get to experience why she had a seriously successful stand-up career. It's a cross between what she did historically and whatever current riff she takes off on in front of the audience she has at the moment.

I don't think it's known what will come next for this production, but it's eminently tourable, and if she does do so, she'll likely find all kinds of ready audiences waiting to share her fun journey!

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GREASE - An interview with Sarah Rose Davis
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Wizzer Pizzer: Getting Over the Rainbow

An interview with Amy Wheeler

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What's hot for July stage openings
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WICKED - An interview with Michael DeVries
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Verdi's Don Carlos in German
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Can excellent soloists save the show?
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Georgia Ragsdale's mostly-comic memoir, Follow You Everywhere, was the hit of the weekend
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The Return of Chaos at Teatro ZinZanni
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
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Mike still has plenty of magic
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Bawdy Overnight a promiscuously adventurous affair
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Energetic Dope overflowing in youthful vitality
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Beautiful, movingly intimate Marnie an animated masterpiece
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