"Anybody want a glass of wine?" Scott asks as she settles into a table at an Italian restaurant on Spring Street, not far from the theater. "How about a bottle of Merlot?" "Red, I can't drink red," says drag legend Tommy Femia, who has the flamboyant, gender-bending role of Sugar in the backstage musical comedy. "Red gives me a headache. Do you have any Pinot Grigios? Make it a trough." Jaid Barrymore--mother of Drew, and an accomplished actress in her own right--moans "It's been one of those nights. What kind of beer do you have?" Sidney Myer, a longtime friend of Scott's, snorts: "I'll have what Mimi's having."
An alumna of Grandma Sylvia's Funeral, which also played at the Soho Playhouse, Mimi Scott was virtually house bound with asthma when the idea for Dressing Room popped into her raven-haired head "I was in Grandma Sylvia's for two years," she says. "I played a drunk. Just before it was over, I left the show because of an asthma problem. So I sat down and wrote about my 40 years in theater. It's that simple! It was winter, and the cold air was really doing a number on me, so I had to stay in; but I had this big grin, because I was writing about all the things people used to say that I overheard. Believe me, I never planned on writing a musical; but once I knew I had to do the lyrics, they just started comin' and comin'." Song titles include "Why Are We Sitting Here?," "Weddings are for Wusses," "Never a Bride," and the delightful "Tensions Here Go Round and Round."
Dressing Room tells the backstage story of a successful Off-Broadway show called You Can Take It With You." From the looks of the costumes, this show-within-a-show has everything from a ballerina to a cross dresser to a stripper who looks like Cleopatra (the Jaid Barrymore role; yes Drew inherited more than just talent from her mother). The action takes place in the girl's dressing room. Each of the nine characters gets to sing, and there are several choreographed numbers that give them all a chance to flaunt their considerable talent for movement.