Be My Guest - Bunny and Chicken Productions

Reviewed By Chris McCoy

Dee Dee Deville is a Kansas City legend who has been performing on drag and theatrical stages for over thirty years. Her Fringe performance marks the end of a ten-year hiatus from the theatre, and she is back with a most unconventional show for these unconventional times. After turning fifty (as she says, the age when what you think was just a couple of years ago turns out to be a decade) and reflecting on the tumult and crises of recent years (COVID, politics, culture wars), she presents a show that focuses on the art of conversation. After all, she says, “I know I’m fabulous… but so are you!”

Each night Ms. Deville will select an audience member to interview on stage in an almost entirely improvised performance. The only narrative device: a stack of question index cards that span the gamut from basic information to philosophical musings to just plain absurd. Deedee admits that she took inspiration (and many questions) from the 90s Bravo TV show “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” On the night I attended, the guest was another KC theatre legend, David Wayne Reed. Their conversation covered a wide range of topics from aging to earthing to careers to Dada to emotions and memories.  Each performance of this show will be unique as the titular “guest” may take the conversation in any direction.

What I found so refreshing about this show was its sincerity. As Reed said, “you created a space for vulnerability” and that was palpable in the sharing. While Deville looks fabulous in her 1970s kaftan on a set of midcentury modern furnishings harkening back to the simpler decade in which she was born, the art of this performance is in the intersection of drag artifice with human honesty and connection.  Typically drag queens command the spotlight, but in this show, Deville shares the stage generously to demonstrate that everyone has a story worth telling.

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P.O. Box 415001
Kansas City, MO 64141-5001