Hello, Sweeties! It’s your third favorite female, Anna. There is a theater event happening starting late March and ending in early April called King Beard: a Play with Music. I have chosen to harass/interview the show’s writer, Simon Astor, and one of its drag actresses, Joel Steinpreis!
Anna Rexia: I’ve heard that King Beard is like “Game of Thrones with pixie dust”. Like most of our readers, I loved big, naked Khal Drogo! I mean, force me to marry him, amiright? But, tell me more about your show!
Simon Astor (Playwright): Thanks for asking! It’s so interesting, Anna, you make me feel like I can tell you anything. Even: all the secrets of King Beard. There’s something about you that just draws me in, captivates me. It’s like I’m floating. It’s almost like I’m floating. The play is about a cruel king who takes the beards of men who oppose him and weaves them into a cape. He wears the cape to both casual and formal occasions. And there are fairies.
Anna Rexia: Simon, you have written plays featuring drag actresses (Tulips of Fury, Witch Prison) and Joel, you have acted in drag (Women in Peril, Working Gurl), and so I ask you both: are drag queens more difficult to work with than normal actresses?
Simon Astor: Working with drag queens is like pumping quarters into a claw machine at a bowling alley. After practicing a long time and after spending a lot of money, you can actually get that damn claw to grab a prize. The thing to remember, though, is to release it before it gets to the slot.
Joel Steinpreis (Drag Actress/aka, a “Dragtress”): Drag queens?!? The only thing worse is an old drag queen! And when you’re as old as I am, you’ve seen it all: the lights, the press, the crowds lining up for other people’s shows…well, you know what I mean, Anna. This time is different, though…so many young, talented faces: Jen Nelson (Victor/Victoria, Sister Kate Dance Company), Todd Hull ( the guy who operates the lights at Brown Derby shows), Craig Trolli (that Michael Alig shit) and me and so many others! It’s so fun to watch them on stage and drink their virile blood when they’re not looking! It’s literally what keeps me alive!
Anna Rexia: Red Wedding. Wow, right? Is there a Red Wedding moment or two in this show?
Simon Astor: Is a Red Wedding the thing they do in the Old Country where a bride and groom have to hang the bloody sheet out of the window to prove the bride was a virgin? There are a couple of moments like that in the show. More than a couple: I think that ideal, that symbol, is something that drove this production. I think the cast and crew were all trying to achieve that effect without consciously being aware of it.
Anna Rexia: Man, that naked Walk of Shame Queen Cersei’s stunt double had to do was long and intense! Which leads to my next question: what are the costumes like?
Simon Astor: We’re a scrappy fringe production with a shoestring budget, and all the money went to the Cape of Beards, so we just reuse the sheets from the Red Wedding scenes.
Joel Steinpreis: The LED lights get really hot! But seriously, it’s a kaleidoscope of Renaissance realness: codpieces, antlers, Aaron Allshouse! Let me put it this way: Have you ever wanted to be transported in time, but without the smell and preferably with a drink in hand? Jewelbox Theater at the Rendezvous can take you there!
Anna Rexia: Simon, you are a triple threat, i.e. writer, director, actor. And Joel, you are bringing serious comedic acting chops to drag. That said: will there be any sexy stuff in this show?
Simon Astor: Depends on what you’re into. If you like that thing where a guy and a girl do things to an apple and pass the apple back and forth and the apple-passing action keeps intensifying, then yeah, there’s some preeeety sexy stuff. Also the cast is red hot and will give you sexmares.
Joel Steinpreis: Well, if you’re bad and like apples…you’ll love King Beard!
Anna Rexia: What do you think is going to happen in the final season of GoT? Actually, meh, I hate conspiracy theories. Instead: what has been your inspiration for this show?
Simon Astor: I read a book of Welsh myths on a trip to Morocco. If you go to the old parts of the major cities there, you get sucked into these maze-like shopping centers. You get totally disoriented. It does things to you. I would be completely, helplessly lost all day, then somehow find my way back to my hotel, sit under a date palm, drink mint tea, and my mind would be totally open to the myths. I began adjusting them to my own purpose.
Joel Steinpreis: I didn’t have to audition! Plus: when they told me both Samantha Fisher and Kit Goldsworthy were going to be my understudies, I told Simon, ‘I’m doing it anyway!’
Anna Rexia: And finally: Assuming there are no dragons in your show, what are some surprising elements that might draw in some of our readers?
Simon Astor: It’s probably the only show they’ll see in March with a talking harp covering Nancy Sinatra songs. That’s pretty surprising. Also: no refunds. That often surprises people…
Joel Steinpreis: Craig Trolli only has six lines!
Anna Rexia: Oh, then I’m buying my tickets now!!!
Thank you, Sweeties, and watch out for those Dire Wolves, White Walkers and especially the eunuchs, ew! Lollipops and Lannister Lovin’ – Anna
Anna Rexia is the absorbed twin of actor Craig Trolli (also in drag in King Beard: a play with Music as a Medieval Mean Girl). She’s a bio-queen too lazy to ever actually perform anywhere. She got her degree in journalism from a box of Cracker Jacks. She ate the Cracker Jacks because her name is Italian and doesn’t mean what you think, Weirdoes!
The Kingdom of Barbasol is ruled by a cruel monarch who forbids men to grow beards and collects the daughters of the powerful for his private harem.
Can a harp player’s apprentice and a scrappy necklace salesperson aid the revolution? Possibly.
Is the king’s adviser secretly a stag in human form spying for Fairyland? Almost certainly.
Will there be choreographed fighting and dancing? Oh, without a doubt.
Terrible puns throughout? Alas, yes.
Full Bar? We wouldn’t be there otherwise.
A Lion Pinball Production at the Jewelbox in The Rendezvous. Three nights only! …
March 30 – 7pm
March 31 – 7pm
April 3 – 7pm
Ticket link? Ticket link! – http://www.brownpapertickets.