Stage Door News

Toronto: TO Live and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre present Taylor Mac’s “Holiday Sauce...Pandemic!” from December 12

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

On December 12, TO Live and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and prestigious theatres and cultural institutions around the world present the Pomegranate Artsproduction Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce…Pandemic!. The special, live streamed event reimagines for this time of social distancing Mac’s celebrated Holiday Sauce show, which The Los Angeles Times has praised for its “freewheeling love and generosity,” and called “a present from the island of misfit toys...and a Christmas miracle.”

For Taylor Mac, there is more to the holidays than rampant capitalism and gift giving. This holiday season will be bittersweet for so many. Holiday Sauce…Pandemic! reminds us of the collective power of our chosen families, a message that is particularly resonant this year, when so many have lost so much.

The program comes on the heels of, and celebrates the release of Mac’s Holiday Sauce album, another opportunity for home-bound audiences to experience Mac’s singular artistry and approach to the holidays.

Holiday Sauce… Pandemic! was commissioned by The International Ibsen Festival, The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and The National Theatre of Oslo who present it with additional support from TO Live, Artpark-Lewiston, NY, ASU Gammage at Arizona State University, Berliner Festspiele, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Curran-San Francisco, Firstworks/Brown Arts Initiative, The Guthrie Theater, The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth, Live Arts Miami, OZ Arts Nashville, Park Avenue Armory, Seattle Theatre Group and On The Boards, Stanford Live at Stanford University, Teatros del Canal Madrid, UtahPresents, and Wexner Center of the Arts at the Ohio State University.

Conceived as a virtual vaudeville, Holiday Sauce…Pandemic! blends music, film, burlesque, and random acts of fabulousness. To create it, Mac has joined forces with longtime creative producer Pomegranate Arts (Linda Brumbach, Founder and Director; Alisa E. Regas, Managing Director, Creative), director Jeremy Lydic, designers Machine Dazzle and Anastasia Durasova, and cinematographer Rob Kolodny. It features a full band led music director/arranger Matt Ray and including Colin Brooks, Viva DeConcini, Antoine Drye, Greg Glassman, J. Walter Hawkes, Marika Hughes, Dana Lyn, and Gary Wang; special guests Thornetta Davis, Stephanie Christi’an, and Tigger! Ferguson; and performers who make cameo appearances: Dusty Childers, Sister Rosemary Chicken, sidhe degreene, Romeo-Jay Jacinto, Glenn Marla, Travis Santell Rowland (Qween), and Timothy White Eagle

Mac dedicates Holiday Sauce to Mother Flawless Sabrina, Mac’s drag mother, who passed away three weeks before the live show made its world premiere at Town Hall NYC in December 2017. As a tribute to her, each institution presenting Holiday Sauce...Pandemic! is honouring a local elder who has made a significant contribution to nurturing the queer community in their city. TO Live and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre have selected leZlie lee kam, a fierce, differently-abled queer dyke community activist, storyteller, and 2SLGBTQI+ awareness consultant and workshop facilitator.  Collectively, these elders make up a group Mac is referring to as The Queens; their names will be mentioned in the show, featured on the Holiday Sauce website, and amplified on social media.

Holiday Sauce…Pandemic! is presented live at 7pm EST on December 12. Following the live streams on December 12, the show will be available on-demand on a pay-what-you-can basis from December 13 through January 2, 2021. To purchase a ticket to the event, visit

TO Live and Buddies will be holding a virtual afterparty following the December 12 performance, hosted by critically-acclaimed theatre and cabaret artist Ryan G. Hinds.

The Holiday Sauce album celebrates the time of year we hate with unique renditions of songs we love.  In addition to traditional favourites like “God Rest Ye Gentlemen,” “How Can I Keep from Singing?,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and “Silent Night,” the recording features an original entitled “Christmas with Grandma” and covers such as Graham Nash’s “Cathedral”; the Velvet Underground’s “The Black Angel’s Death Song” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties”; and Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids.”

Holiday Sauce is produced and arranged by 24-Decade music director Matt Ray and features Mac on lead vocals and ukulele and a band including Matt Ray on piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, glockenspiel, bells, and background vocals; Bernice “Boom Boom” Brooks on drums; Steffanie Christi'an on vocals; Thornetta Davis on vocals; Viva DeConcini on guitar; Antoine Drye on trumpet; Greg Glassman on trumpet; J. Walter Hawkes on trombone; Marika Hughes on cello,Dana Lyn on violin; and Gary Wang on bass.

Holiday Sauce is mixed by Grammy-winner Fernando Lodeiro (Esperanza Spalding, Vampire Weekend, Lady Gaga) and mastered by Grammy-winner Emily Lazar (Beck, Lou Reed, David Bowie). It is released by Favorite Fruit, a new company established by Pomegranate Arts.

A portion of the album proceeds benefit the LGBT Asylum Task Force.

For more information about the Holiday Sauce album and the Holiday Sauce...Pandemic! event, please visit


About Taylor Mac

Taylor Mac (who uses “judy,” lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. Judy’s work has been performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center, The Public Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, London’s Hackney Empire, Los Angeles’s Royce Hall, Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, Boston’s American Repertory Theatre, Stockholm’s Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, San Francisco’s Curran Theater and MOMA, and literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls, opera houses, cabarets, and festivals around the globe.

Judy is the author of seventeen full-length works of theater including A Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Hir, The Lily’s Revenge, and  A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, which, in its world premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, Wesley Morris of The New York Times called “one of the great experiences of my life.” 

Mac is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama,  a Tony Award Nominee (for Best Play), and the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, a NY Drama Critics Circle Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim, the Herb Alpert in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, 2 OBIEs, and the one judy is most proud to be associated with, an Ethyl Eichelberger Award. An alumnus of New Dramatists, judy is currently a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect, the Resident playwright at the Here Arts Center, and the 2020 Artist in Residence at WNET’s ALL ARTS. In 2017, Mac was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Photo: Taylor Mac.