Director: Thom Fitzgerald
Runtime: 93 minutes
Cast: Jacki Weaver, Lucy Liu, Adrian Grenier, Mya Taylor, Allister MacDonald,
Oscar Moreno, Jackie Beat, Lenore Zann, Anthony Skordi, Sofia Banzhaf, Callum Dunphy
Synopsis: When conservative, Texas church-choir director Maybelline inherits her recently deceased son’s drag club, she surprises her closed-minded husband and everyone else she knows by moving alone to San Francisco to save the club from bankruptcy. In this raucous, racy new environment, she begins to open up and find new meaning for her life, even becoming a mother-figure to the club’s flamboyant performers… until a surprise visit threatens to upend her new life.
Worlds collide when a Texas church choir director inherits her late son’s drag queen club in San Francisco in this film from Director Thom Fitzgerald [Cloudburst (2011), The Hanging Garden (1997), The Event (2003), 3 Needles (2005)], with a strong script from Brad Hennig and starring an excellent Jacki Weaver [Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Animal Kingdom (2010), Stoker (2013)].
Stage Mother is a colourful, entertaining drama about culture clash and confounded expectations, when a conservative matron finds herself accepting her deceased son’s lifestyle and bonding with a new community – the close-knit performers of a struggling drag club.
When Maybelline leaves Red Vine, Texas for her estranged son’s funeral, she does it against strong objections from husband Jeb (Hugh Thompson). They had refused to speak with their son Rickey after he moved to San Francisco and came out as gay.
On arrival, Maybelline soon meets and moves in with Rickey’s best friend, single mother Sienna (Lucy Liu). She comes up against a hostile Nathan (Adrian Grenier), Rickey’s business and life partner who is unsurprisingly not happy that she and Jeb are the inheritors of Pandora’s Box, the drag club Rickey owned and performed in.
In an uncomplicated, crowd pleasing plot, Maybelline becomes enlightened, dispensing maternal love liberally. She creates a new show for the club, teaching Rickey’s “drag sisters” — Joan (Allister MacDonald), Cherry (Mya Taylor) and Tequila (Oscar Moreno) — to sing.
Soon Maybelline is healing every drag sisters’ pain, sorting their problems, peace-making and even receiving romantic interest from hotel concierge (Anthony Skordi) a fellow Texan.
With a timely message of love and acceptance and a strong and talented ensemble cast, Stage Mother is poignant and uplifting with some sharp, witty dialogue and an outstanding central performance from Jacki Weaver.
Stage Mother had previews across the UK and Ireland for International Drag Day and the film will be on general release from Friday 24 Jul.
Images courtesy of: Momentum Pictures