Originally written under the pen name “Jane Mast,” The Drag is Mae West’s examination of drag culture mixed with drawing room comedy. Funny and flamboyant, the play creates an unusual love triangle topped with a decadent parade and celebration of drag. In the 1920s in New York City, Dr. James Richmond is leading the way on research to cure homosexuality and transexuality. He believes that he can “convert” those who are willing to become morally upright, and pursues this practice with good intentions. However, he has no idea that his son-in-law Rolly--seen by everyone as the epitome of masculinity--is gay. Rolly adeptly lives a double life. On the one hand, he is a successful businessman married to his childhood sweetheart Clair. But unbeknownst to his family, Rolly also has a flamboyant group of friends who all participate in the drag lifestyle; he is even known to host drag parties and parades, and has a deep infatuation with his business partner, Allen Grayson. But Rolly’s charmed life comes to a screeching halt when he is murdered in cold blood, and those left behind are forced to reconcile the reality of who he was with the image they all believed in.
The Drag guide sections