Taylor Mac: 20th Century Concert (Abridged)


Taylor Mac: 20th Century Concert (Abridged)

Brisbane Powerhouse

Powerhouse Theatre

Thursday 15th August 2013


Reviewed by Simone Mutimer


Bedazzled shaman Taylor Mac purges the past by performing a sacrificial ritual of songs from the 20th Century.


Internationally acclaimed singer/theatre artist Taylor Mac, who Time Out Australia calls “a genuine leader of our times”, brings radical fairy sacrament realness to this concert of popular music classics. Expect at least one song from each decade of the 20th Century to act as a springboard for frivolity, oblation and rapture.


This 20th Century Concert is the abridged version of Taylor Mac’s community building odyssey A 24 Hour History of Popular Music. Held at New York’s famous Joe’s Pub, all decades will be stitched together culminating in a 24-hour long extravaganza (in 2014) which will feature Taylor Mac, a 24-piece orchestra, dancing beauties, special guests and audience members.




Taylor Mac / AKA Judy, a drag queen with a difference, helps us explore the prejudice and judgement that minority groups have risen up against through 20th century. We look at feminism, immigration, the patriarch, LGBQTB (gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning, transgendered and Allied) cultures.


Inspired by residencies with Sundance Theatre and the Edward Albee Foundation Grants from New York State Council of the Arts Fellowship with Ensemble Studio Theatre show, this show, performed alongside pianist Matt Ray, is an abridged version of a 24-hour long concert that is being performed in New York in 2014 (A History of Popular Music In America).




Using song and audience participation, and hilarious story telling, we are all challenged by our individual imperfections and humanness as we are drawn into the story; pushed and challenged as a group and as individuals to break through our own limitations and leave behind old worn out ideas and prehistoric perceptions of social norms and conformist ways of being. We went from joining in singing Gloria from the 80s as a mantra to clear our souls of the past, to heavily breathing the beat to Tori Amos’ Precious Things.


I haven’t laughed so much in a long time and I had a constant smile on my face. My attention never wavered throughout the 90-minute show. It is the kind of show you could watch 10 times over and still have a great night!


Taylor Mac showed us that our imperfections are a common thread that we all share and brought in ritualistic release to help us move into the 21st century with fresh energy, and a new way to look at ourselves and at the world.


Taylor Mac’s 1770s: Amazing Grace from Taylor Mac on Vimeo.


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