Image created by Robert Roth from a photo by Eric Paguio with design by Tim Harmon.

Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor is fantastic and will surely get you in the spooky spirit! With the catchy songs, costumes, dance numbers, and a campy style of humor, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this cabaret-style performance.

Starring local Drag Race darling BenDeLaCreme and a talented ensemble cast, the show was a terrifying escape from the nightmare that is our country. In addition to DeLa, the cast included Scott Shoemaker, Major Scales, Mandy Price, Faggedy Randy, The One The Only Inga, Elby Brosch, Ron Gatsby, Randy Ford, and Sarah Stanger.

I would go see this show again and again – if I had a sugar parent paying for me, if you know what I mean. The tickets are expensive if you’re a broke bitch trying to make it in this city, but I digress. The comedy was on point, the costumes were on point, the dancing was on point. I highly recommend that you check this shit out.

I have a confession. I have never been to a cabaret show or cabaret style seating before. And let me tell you, if you’re new to the thing get to the show early, figure out where the damn front of the room is and get a table. (Hint: for this show the front is where the staircase is, don’t let the stage with the bed fool you or you’ll end up in the back behind a pillar like I did.)

When I got there, I was immediately excited and put in the Halloween spirit as I gazed around the space. The theatre was decorated to create the feeling of being inside of a manor. There were giant candles, cobwebs, and huge paintings with the freaky eyes that follow you around.

The show started with the character Gaylord, played by Major Scales, on the piano singing a jaunty opening number that is frankly still floating around in my head as I write this. Characters quickly began to arrive at the house – Patsy the innocent protagonist, not the sharpest tool in the tool shed, played by BenDeLaCreme, then the pretentious and hilarious Dr. Dudley Doddington played by Mandy Price. Dr. Doddington was soon joined by his clairvoyant wife, probably my favorite character Leonora (Leo) Doddington, played by Scott Shoemaker

As the plot began to unfold I was quickly reminded of some of my other spooky favorites, like Haunted Honeymoon and Rocky Horror Picture Show. The hilarity of the main characters was heightened with the music and support from the dancers. There were great solo cabaret performances from The One The Only Inga, playing Isabella, and Faggedy Randy, playing the character of Lunk. I lived for the witches and especially the props used throughout the entire production.

Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor is a must see this spooky season. If the world has you down, go see a play and maybe it can be a release or escape or way to process your feelings. Whichever way, live performance art keeps me going through this cold rainy ass winter and hopefully it can do the same for you.

Also, for my fellow POC, be prepared for few enough of us to count on one hand. I know I’m not the only one who does a quick census of my surroundings and the numbers were bleak. Overall, this was a good production, and if you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see it, go.

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