Legendary Designer Bob Mackie Creating Costumes For Gay Play "When Pigs Fly"

This musical gem from the 1990s gets a glammed-up revival, courtesy of Cher's favorite courtierer.

He's whipped up couture ensembles for Cher, RuPaul and Liza Minnelli, and now Bob Mackie is designing costumes for the off-Broadway return of the drag-tastic musical When Pigs Fly.

Created by costume designer and playwright Howard Crabtree, When Pigs Fly is a meta-musical recounting the story of Howard, who struggles to mount a lavish production despite the near-mutiny of his cast and the nagging memory of his high-school guidance counselor, Miss Roundhole, who told him he’d succeed ‘when pigs fly.’" Skewering American politics and gay stereotypes of the 1990s, it featured an all-male cast (often in drag), singing songs like "Light in the Loafers," “Wear Your Vanity With Pride,” and "Laughing Matters," a paean to humor in sad times.

When Pigs Fly

"The wigs alone... are like tone poems of camp," wrote Michael Phillips in a 1999 L.A. Times review. "pillowy, cartoon-land creations, threatening to lift the men beneath them somewhere, fully aloft."

The original 1996 production ran for 840 performances, winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue, as well as the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding Costume Design. Crabtree actually succumbed to AIDS-related illness just days after completing work on the show.

Mackie is stepping in to create all-new designs for the revival, which will be directed by original lyricist Mark Waldrop. (In interviews, Crabtree revealed that Mackie’s hilarious "curtain dress," worn by Carol Burnett as in a “Gone With the Wind” parody, was a major inspiration for him.) The new production stars Jordan Ahnquist, Taylor Crousure, Jacob Hoffman, Brian Charles Rooney, Frank Viveros, Cameron Mitchell Bell and Paul Sabala.

When Pigs Fly comes to Stage 42 starting October 6.

Latest News