Jacqui Weaver is memorable as a mother who mourns the death of her son – a drag queen – in the terrific new film Stage Mother.
Maybelline (great name), married to very conservative Jeb (Hugh Thompson) who never quite accepted the fact that he had a gay son, goes to San Francisco to discover the life her son Rickey (Eldon Thiele) led. There she is met with scorn by her son’s lover Nathan (Adrian Grenier) who knew how Rickey never did quite get along with his parents. But she is also thrown aback to discover that her son owned a gay/drag bar, a bar that Nathan manages and which includes a bevvy of drag queens, among them the fabulous Dusty Muffin (Jackie Beat) and Tequila (Oscar Moreno).
Maybelline is lucky enough to be put up by her son’s friend and neighbour Sienna (a fierce and sexy Lucy Liu) with her adorable baby. It’s no real surprise and shock where the story takes us as the queens (including Mya Taylor – who was fantastic in Tangerine) warm up to Maybelline, who transforms their show (Maybelline is a choir director back in Texas) while at the same time transforming their lives. Will Maybelline sell and go back to her boring husband and life or will she add a bit of spice and magic to make the bar her own?
Weaver is wonderful as Maybelline – it’s a part that seems was tailor-made for her – it’s a perfect fit. At a bit over 90 minutes, there is a lot jam-packed into the film – smoothly directed by Thom Fitzgerald.
To say it’s a gay old time is an understatement. It’s instead a grand old time, and get ready for a very emotional ending.
‘STAGE MOTHER’ has arrived, ahead of its now earlier theatrical release across the UK and Ireland from Friday 24
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.