One drag queen and a baby

A Tale of Two Cities

Jerry Lee ignores W.C. Fields’ advice at his own peril, while baby Jane Robertson was born to be a star.

Jerry Lee ignores W.C. Fields’ advice at his own peril, while baby Jane Robertson was born to be a star.

Photo By chris baad

A Tale of Two Cities, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; $17-$20. SacImpulse at the William J. Geery Theater, 2130 L Street; (916) 749-6039; Through January 6.

William J Geery Theater

2130 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 448-9019

What in the world is a wannabe drag queen preparing for her debut supposed to do with a squalling foundling on the doorstep? In the immortal words of Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

In this case, our hero(ine) tries and abandons a variety of means to quiet the sobbing child before, in desperation, turning to Charles Dickens. And thus begins this amazing adaptation by Everett Quinton of the classic A Tale of Two Cities, originally produced by the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York City. The one-man show is onstage for a brief run at the William J. Geery Theater, with local actor Jerry Lee as the unwilling infant minder who will do anything to stop that incessant crying.

“Anything” includes acting out every role in Dickens’ novel of the French Revolution—drunken British lawyer Sydney Carton; French aristocrat Charles Darnay; a wicked uncle; an ingénue, as well as her father and governess; and the horrid villainess Madame Defarge—all while applying his makeup and costume for a drag performance.

Despite the presence of the aforementioned baby, this is not a show for kids. It’s full-to-overflowing with high-camp sensibility and more than a few literary references as Carton’s transformation from wastrel to self-sacrificing hero is complemented by our performer’s transformation from mere mortal to an absolute queen.

Lee was most recently seen locally as the ghost of Jacob Marley in the Sacramento Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol; he’s enlisted Sacramento cabaret meister Graham Sobelman to provide original incidental music. Expect a thoroughly, wonderfully campy romp in this limited engagement.

And that baby? Trust us, she’s gonna be a star, no matter how many drag queens she has to go through to get to the top.