Two Tuckers (drag artist Golden Delicious and pianist-singer Tucker) is a ragtag, scattershot, hellzapoppin delight that has nothing on its mind but entertainment. If you need a moment to decipher the joke of the title, take it now. The duo wrote an eponymous opening number that delightfully explained it all. It also gave a preview of the saucy, salacious, laugh-inducing material that the audience had in store. The song even had a pause for lipsynch with some Judy Garland inserted for good measure. If including Judy sounds a bit old-fashioned, that’s the kind of drag queen Golden is—a throwback that managed to capture a side of drag that has been missing lately. She didn’t let a double entendre go by without comment (either physical or verbal). She never met a sexual innuendo, scatological punch-line, or bump and grind she didn’t love. And she made the audience love them too, often in spite of themselves. For her solo time on stage, Golden created a few tasty mixes, well-chosen and executed with hilarious voice inserts of her own to dirty things up a bit. A Disney medley proved a particular and profanity-laced favorite. Her tongue extended and fluttered with lizard like speed a bit too often, but I was laughing too much to let it bother me too much. When actually singing, she more than holds her own with her partner at the piano.
Tucker (just the first name, like Madonna) is a ball of fire at the piano, whether dueting with his cohort or doing his own numbers. He’s got a sly smile and an insinuating twinkle in his eyes as he trades quips and barbs with Golden between songs, and has a deadpan sense of humor that scores again and again. When he shed the comedy, he was equally effective on the show’s one ballad, “Alone” (Tucker, Francesca Milazzo, Susan Collins, and Andy Caploe). He has such a good voice that I wish he had trusted his singing enough to not go into the screech-singing that currently fills the airwaves and clubs quite so often.
I enjoyed their song “26” so much that I forgave them daring to write a lament about reaching the ripe old age of the title. The original music and lyrics were noteworthy throughout; the duo is carving out a special niche in the drag/cabaret world. A loud and raucous disco medley at the close, complete with mirror ball and choreographic mayhem, showed that Tucker can also match his co-star’s energy and fun when he is up on his feet and away from the piano.
There were two guest stars in the show, and both easily surpassed the “filler” function that these situations often become. Irene (single name, like Tucker) proved an adept “anti-impressionist” in “The Niche You Need” (a song she co-wrote with her hosts, featuring “appearances” by Céline, Ariana Grande and others). Matt Giroveanu had great fun improvising a song about an audience-suggested “Barn Door.” It’s a sure sign of a successful guest appearance when I want to see more—and that was the case with both of these performers.
Two Tuckers had such a loose, easygoing feel that it will easily accommodate different guest stars and additional material in future shows. In another time it would be a hit variety show on TV. In 2018 it is a hit cabaret show and Tucker and Golden Delicious are stars on the rise.
The Duplex – August 24
About the Author
Gerry Geddes has conceived and directed a number of musical revues—including the Bistro- and MAC Award-winning "Monday in the Dark with George" and "Put On Your Saturday Suit-Words & Music by Jimmy Webb"—and directed many cabaret artists, including André De Shields, Helen Baldassare, Darius de Haas, and drag artist Julia Van Cartier. He directs "The David Drumgold Variety Show," currently in residence at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, and has produced a number of recordings, including two Bistro-winning CDs. He’s taught vocal performance at The New School, NYU, and London’s Goldsmith’s College and continues to conduct private workshops and master classes. As a writer and critic, he has covered New York’s performing arts scene for over 40 years in both local and national publications; his lyrics have been sung by several cabaret and recording artists. Gerry is an artist in residence at Pangea, and a regular contributor to the podcast “Troubadours & Raconteurs.” He just completed a memoir of his life in NYC called “Didn’t I Ever Tell You This?”