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Play in the Gray

Kaitlin Meelia

Play in the Gray
Drag performance has been a mainstay in the gay community for many years and has gained an even larger spotlight with recent Logo TV productions such as RuPaul's Drag Race, bringing this performance art to the masses. Many people are quaintly familiar with the male-dressed-as-a-female form of drag, but may be surprised to learn there's a form of drag performed by women that like to dress as men. Director Kaitlin Meelia's documentary, Play in the Gray, follows an all-female drag troupe (All The King's Men) that are working to address gender stereotypes and identity by incorporating a bold commentary on cultural gender roles and sexuality into their skits. Meelia dives deeper than the actual performances, interviewing each member of the group to discover who they are and who they want to be, as well as addressing their struggles with their personal identities, whether male, female or somewhere in the gray area (get it?). While the documentary shows some of the troupes on-stage performance, it gravitates towards the women as its primary focus, leading the film to become a bogged-down snooze fest, complete with an equally dragging soundtrack. While there's something interesting in seeing the other side of drag, it's apparent this documentary is keen on being a platform for a group of folks of the Sapphic variety that want to preach their message of gender identity. It's a shame this film couldn't focus more on the performances, as that would have been far more entertaining. (Planted Seeds)
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