Joan Crawford gives adoption a bad, bad name. When Christina Crawford was taken in by the movie star in 1940, it appeared that the little girl was destined for a life of glamour and privilege. Little did anyone know that her adoptive mother ruled over the household with intense fury and anger, beating her children with cans of scouring powder and wire hangers over the smallest of transgressions. The accounts given by Christina in her tell-all, Mommie Dearest, are at once terrifying and sickly transfixing. The movie version takes it to a whole other level, embodying the abusive matron in the shrill, terrorizing form of Faye Dunaway. The over-the-topness of it all takes it beyond the realm of child abuse and squarely into entertainment territory, making us all the worst kind of voyeurs--the kind of people who wonder if (and hope that) Zahara Jolie-Pitt will someday unleash a bombshell Mommie Dearest of her own. The sheer entertainment value of the story defies logic, but also lends itself to theatrics, making the Uptown Players' adaptation of the tale, Mommie Queerest, a summer theater destination. The laugh-heavy production puts a twist on the tale, and the actors--in drag, of course--lend the right amount of absurdity to a story that's just otherwise scary. The production takes place Friday through June 28 (and July 9 through 12) at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday nights at the Rose Room Theatre at 3911 Cedar Springs Road (upstairs at S4). Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online at uptownplayers.org.
Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m.; Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: June 5. Continues through July 12, 2009