On September 15, Taylor Mac began the world-premiere run of A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, an immense theater-music-performance-art piece presented in three-hour segments over eight evenings. (Each decade gets about an hour.) The real extravaganza, though, is on October 8, when the artist (who gender-fluidly avoids “he” and “she” in favor of “judy”) does the whole thing in 24 hours, for an audience of folks who’ve agreed to stay for the duration. We asked Taylor Mac to explain how these 20 songs — out of the show’s 246 and the millions in American history — made the cut.
Photo: Norman Jean Roy
“I have but 300 words to review Taylor Mac’s concert extravaganza spanning years 1776 to 2016 (which, save one 24-hour marathon performance, is split into eight three-hour/three-decade acts). My remaining 270 should simply be: “Go!” Also: “Bring your doctor!” Can we endure Mac singing, joking, ranting and changing costumes for 24 consecutive hours? Can he? Mac wouldn’t be the first to die for his art, but he’d surely be the first to do so in a wig made of champagne corks, a deconstructed hoop skirt and a flesh-colored jockstrap accented by a shredded American flag, butt cheeks bouncing in the wind.”
– David Cote for Time Out New York
Photo: Teddy Wolff