A Return Stop

A Return Stop

tageQ gets into the holiday spirit with a new rendition of The Stops. Artistic director Tara Ayres shares the details on the show, which opens tomorrow and runs through December 15 at the Bartell Theatre.

Tell me about this show.

The Holiday Stops is a sequel to The Stops, a very popular show we did three years ago. The Stops is the name of a musical group made up of members of the North American Lady Organists Guild, a fictional organization of women church organists. The three original members—and a fourth added for this show—are also all singers who met at a NALOG conference and formed a singing group. The four ladies are on tour doing a show.

Who are these four women?

They’re from different churches from around the country. All four ladies are played by men, but it’s not traditional drag. Even though they’re performing authentically they’re not pretending to be women—it’s not a caricature of women.

What are you doing similarly to when you presented The Stops in 2009?

These characters are just delightful; they really come alive. We had them come out and mingle with the audience—they’ll be out interacting before this show. We also had church potlucks in the lobby before our Sunday matinees, and we’ll be doing that again.

What should audiences expect?

The show is a lot of fun. It’s lighthearted but takes on serious issues. We’ve got a variety of takes on racism and a variety of takes on gay rights. The show is just a romp. It’s all original music and the movement’s going to be a hoot.

The Holiday Stops runs November 29–December 15 at the Bartell Theatre. For more information, visit stageq.com.

Photo by Lorah Haskins.

An excerpt of this Q&A ran in the November issue of Madison Magazine. Find more November events .