Julia Sugarbaker had her own resurrection last week, delighting the crowd at “Designing Women” Bingo with Pets Are Loving Support thanks to a rendition of her famously indignant “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” speech.
The linguistic adventures came courtesy of gay actor Topher Payne (top photo), who dragged it up as Julia on June 8 to co-host the non-profit’s monthly bingo fundraiser with Bubba D. Licious (bottom photo) at Jungle.
The speech, which has developed a cult-like appreciation since it first aired as part of the show’s second episode in 1986, quieted the bingo crowd until its last line, when most everyone joined in to belt out, “And that … is the night … the lights …. went out … in Georgia!”
Payne, who’s donned Sugarbaker drag for stage performances of “Designing Women Live,” recently closed a run of “Tape” at Pinch n’ Ouch Theatre. It was quite the stripped-down and gritty break from his usual nice guys and drag sendups.
But fans shouldn’t fret too much: Payne returns with the ladies from Sugarbakers in two new episodes staged by Process Theatre this fall.
PALS has had a busy, fruitful and fun year so far. In addition to its monthly Bingo games, including “Alabama Prom Night” Bingo in May (photos), April’s Pajama Party Bingo (photos) and March’s Mardi Gras-themed game (photos), the organization benefited from Doggies on the Catwalk early this year and crowned its 2011 Spokespet during the annual PALS Pet Cotillion (photos).