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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stages

A ‘Horrible’ — and raunchy — take on a holiday classic

The phrase “fantastic sensory overload” could describe most of the shows put on by Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans — especially when spoken with a ribald giggle. But Jessica Barstis is just talking about their rehearsals.

“You can’t get into a room with a bunch of fabulous drag queens and not have a ton of stuff going on at one time,” says Barstis, an Orphans newcomer who stars in Landry’s latest, “It’s a Horrible Life,” playing in the basement at Machine through Dec. 22. “The personalities are all so big, but they mesh so well together. You sort of have to figure out how to catch up and absorb everything that’s going on.”

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