Walking into Lakeview’s Mercury Theater for this show was like walking into a 1991 Miami home. The set for The Golden Gals Live! was spot on from the TV show it’s been based off of, The Golden Girls. It was beautifully put together with vintage rattan furniture, 80’s accessories and tropical foliage. The set truly made you feel like you had just stepped onto the film set for the original show. And that was just the beginning of the magic! As the lights dimmed signaling the start of the show, the music started, and of course it was a familiar tune for lovers of the 80’s/90’s TV classic, with a new spin on the words, which were fitting for the stage show. Then the gals themselves appeared onstage – featuring Ginger Minj (Blanche), Godget Galore (Rose), MR MS Adrien (Sophia), Divine Grace (Dorothy) and Chicago’s own Jason Richards (Stan, Gloria, and many more). These [drag] queens were fantastic and truly gave a golden performance.
The acting was impeccable! Each Golden Gal tied in so much of the original character into their representation of the role. Even the voice tone and inflection was near perfection. Had I closed my eyes and just listened, I would have swore Bea Arthur herself had been resurrected and was on stage reprising her role as Dorothy. The mannerisms and facial expressions were flawless as well, and truly reminded me of each character from the TV show, but still allowed the actors’ own talent to shine through. Ginger Minj, who stars as Blanche and directed the show was a standout among the cast.
There were so many laughs throughout the whole show. So many in fact that at one point, during a more serious moment between Blanche and Sophia, the actors had to break character a bit and in the funniest way possible tell the audience to get a hold of themselves. One of the highlights of the show for me, and one of the funniest moments, was in the second act. I won’t give too much away, but a talent show takes place, and Sophia’s talent (and really MR MS Adrien’s performance) had the audience doubled over in laughter.
I believe you know a stage show is truly fantastic when it goes by so quickly that when the end approaches, you’re left wondering why there is not more time. It’s definitely how I felt when The Golden Gals took their final bows of the night. This show is warm and humorous, and made me feel like I was right there in that Miami living room with old friends – the ones I have watched on TV for so many years. And I promise, even if you have never seen an episode of the The Golden Girls, you will love The Golden Gals. These actors put on one heck of a show and it’s a must see!
Photos are courtesy of the Mercury Theatre
Go to the Mercury Theatre Website for tickets and more information