A Review of Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music Marathon


Taylor Mac, Matt Ray, Machine Dazzle, American culture, American studies, popular entertainment, theatre, theatre review, popular music, queer performance, queer theatre, music history, American history, New York theatre, downtown performance, lgbtq performance, drag, performance studies, theatre studies, lgbt studies, queer studies, Jacques Derrida


This review considers Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music Marathon which took place at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York from October 8 to October 9, 2016. Using Jacques Derrida's theory of "l'avenir," best translated as the "unexpected visitor" I analyze a variety of the components found in the performance including, queer dramaturgy, song selection, choreography, audience participation and costumes. My critical review examines the concert which pulled liberally from the American songbook, using popular music from 1776 to 2016 in an attempt to collectively exorcise the specters of the patriarchy and exonerate the oppressed in what Mac deemed a “radical faerie ritual.”

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