Oh, those ‘Golden’ quippers: Philly drag queens interpret old TV show

Listen
Ian Morrison (right)

Ian Morrison (right)

A group of drag queens in Philadelphia will perform episodes of the old TV show, “The Golden Girls,” live on stage Friday evening.

“The Golden Girls” ran from 1985 to 1992, when women’s fashion — particularly for older women — tended toward shoulder pads and pastel chiffon robes.

It was already it’s own drag spoof.

“Bea Arthur looked like she was wearing football equipment under her outfits. They always had broad shoulders, long flowing outfits,” said drag performer Ian Morrison, aka Brittney Lynn. “It screamed, ‘older extravagance.’ They never left their house, but they changed six or seven times a day into these amazing couture outfits. You wondered what they did all day.”

Morrison is not the first to see the drag potential of the Golden Girls; other comedy stage shows based on the sitcom are perfromed around the country. The more apt question might not be “Why are you doing this?” rather “What took you so long?”

Morrison is the manager of Tabu, a gay sports bar in Philadelphia, and a longtime performer. He says the stars aligned among the venue and other willing performers — Pissi Myles, Bella Cane, Connor Michalchuk, and Morrison’s father, actor Ron Morrison — to make “The Golden Gurlz” happen.

The show — sold out but with standing-room tickets still available — will consist of two episodes of the “Golden Girls,” off of which the performers will be free to improvise, because it’s funnier that way.

“At the same time, I’m scared to hear what comes out of everybody’s mouth,” said Morrison.

The “Golden Girls” show is the first of a planned series of Sunday drag performances based on old television shows, called “TV Brunch.” There will be a reprieve of “Golden Girls” in October, followed in November by episodes of “The Facts of Life.”

“I have to play Charlotte Rae sometime in my life before I die,” said Morrison.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.