BY JORDAN LEVIN, jlevin@MiamiHerald.com
At the Colony Theater Saturday night for the inaugural Out in the Tropics festival, Taylor Mac worked in a circle of white light with a pile of motley-fabulous costumes (ratty wigs, red crinoline, faux leopard muumuu), a gorgeous mask of glittery makeup and a ukulele. But by the time he had finished his two-hour show ``The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac,'' he had covered the expanse of human fear and longing, from theories of Armageddon and the war on terror to sex, birth, love and dandyism.
``I'm gonna change periodically cause I'm gonna channel Proteus. This is a high-brow play!'' Mac said at one point. It also is an astonishingly humane and startling work of theater that is its best argument for the power of the imagination.
The directors of FUNDarte and Tropical Wave Productions, who produced Out in the Tropics, aim to illuminate gay and lesbian artists and issues. But the festival's three shows demonstrated the potential and relevance of a vision outside the mainstream -- in Mac's case, a vision that cuts, with an ironic, sequin-encrusted wink, to the heart of life.