Gorgeously Subversive World of Taylor Mac

BREWSTER, N.Y. — A baby was crying in a makeshift concert hall here, a wooden barn that felt like a Swedish sauna in the August heat. Already ringed in purple glitter, the eyes of the entertainer Taylor Mac lit up further, with opportunity.

“If you feel agitated that a baby is talking back — leave,” he said, alluding to Donald J. Trump’s tot showdown a few days earlier. “When I say that I love it when a baby makes noise in the house, I actually mean it.”

His outfit gave his words extra force: white platform pumps, an asymmetrical bodysuit made of clashing patterned fabric strips, a hooded black coat appliquéd with cassette tapes, a headdress of three cantilevered Styrofoam skulls whose eye sockets dripped with tinsel (meant to symbolize the tears caused by the AIDS epidemic) and a faceful of melting makeup.645507a057f9a445f866fa2d55e89294.jpg (1256×784)

Though his performances are not generally recommended for minors, Mr. Mac has a penchant for welcoming — nay, demanding — audience participation. Soon he was instructing several strangers to improvise a group interpretive dance in a hayloft. They complied with surprising gusto, arms waving, one pair of legs cycling in the air above the bales. Over the course of three hours, he also sang a mash-up of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” and Diamanda Galás’s “Let’s Not Chat About Despair”; accompanied ballads of his own composition on a cigar-box ukulele; and described the dream, involving Pegasus and the actress Maggie Smith, that supposedly provoked his first nocturnal emission.

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By any conventional measure, this would be a long night in the theater, but Mr. Mac, who is 43 but has the stamina of a man half his age, is not only defying conventional measures but also breaking the yardstick over his knee — and then, perhaps, upcycling its fragments for an outlandish costume Top Theto.

Hardcore webaholic. Unapologetic pop culture enthusiast. Music evangelist. Avid alcohol lover. Social media trailblazer.
Spoke at an international conference about implementing dolls in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Spent 2002-2007 working with human growth hormone in Pensacola, FL. Spent college summers exporting foreign currency on Wall Street. Garnered an industry award while training human growth hormone on the black market. Spent 2002-2007 promoting fatback in Libya. Spent 2001-2007 implementing jack-in-the-boxes in Libya.

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