Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
John Epperson: Show Trash
Most know John Epperson as his alter ego, Lypsinka. However, in his solo piece Show Trash, Epperson leaves the makeup and the wigs behind. The result is a witty and very real exploration of his journey from small town tot to diva extraordinaire.
Billed as a "special event," the show is presented by DC's Studio Theatre where Mr. Epperson has been in rep performing Lypsinka! As I Lay Lip-Synching. Show Trash is wonderfully entertaining and Epperson delivers a superb performance. He is campy and fun but he also manages to be serious when it such moments are called for.
Born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, Epperson describes his life as a musically gifted child while reliving the pain of growing up gay and dealing with the loss of dear family members. His long standing relationship with music brings him opportunities that others dream of and from that is born the amazing Lypsinka.
As Epperson relates his stories he emphasizes them with some well placed songs. Many are parodies of familiar show tunes. His lyrics and dialogue are very clever. In a particularly delicious moment during his first number he sings that he is feeling so "Liza Minnelli-ish."
Epperson's stage persona is open and friendly and he is guided well by director Barry Kleinbort. Mr. Epperson is immensely likable and creates a good relationship with the audience. It is almost as if he is an old friend sharing a slew of inside jokes.
Giorgos Tsappas' minimal set makes good use of the intimate space. The presentation of slides and home movies in the background serves to enhance the piece. Lighting by Mark T. Simpson is successful in setting the mood.
Mr. Epperson gives a detailed explanation about origins of the show's name but this reviewer will not give that away. Just know that Show Trash is appropriately named. This show is a theatrical treat but sadly it only runs for a week. So, theatergoers will have to rush to get a good dose of Show Trash. Show Trash runs through June 20th.
The Studio Theatre