By Daniela Esteves

Lipstick, fake eyelashes and high heels were once foreign concepts to Jon Kovach. Now, with fake hips attached to his sides, he returns to the Hippodrome in eye shadow, dresses and glitter galore.

Kovach is thrilled to take on what he calls an “exciting feat,” starring in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” as Casey. By an unexpected turn of events, an Elvis impersonator finds himself introduced to the world of drag. This is Kovach’s first time donning drag, too.

The actor, who previously starred in the Hipp’s production of “Hand to God,” is glad to be back in Gainesville and working at a local theatre that isn’t afraid of doing daring, new work.  He believes this production reveals new aspects of drag that may help dissolve stereotypes and audiences’ phobias and discomfort.

Kovach’s passion for theatre and acting stems from his belief that theatre allows actors and audiences to experience the world through different lenses. 

Though he enjoys both film and live theatre, he thinks the beauty of theatre is that the actors and audience experience it together. Everyone “breathes the same air,” he said.

Kovach has worked with recognized film-makers and authors, including the legendary George Clooney. (Side note: Ryan Gosling once called him “buddy” on the set of “The Ides of March,” and this has all the interns at the Hipp fangirling). Kovach’s repertoire includes off-Broadway and regional theatre productions, as wells many roles in film and TV.

As an undeclared major at the Miami University of Ohio, he performed in plays for artistic expression and release, he said, but was told by counselors that, as a profession, it was useless. But, after a summer of touring with his then rock-band, Cabin Fever, Kovach knew he was an artist.

See Kovach take the Hippodrome Mainstage alongside a talented cast in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” opening this Friday, Oct. 13, and running through Nov. 5.

Click here for tickets or call the box office at 352-375-4477.