Monday, October 29, 2007

Die Mommie Die: 10/28/2007

Seeing Charles Busch on stage in one of his plays is always a treat. As Angela Arden, in Die Mommie Die, he's Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Eve Arden and about a half-dozen other screen stars wrapped up in one performance. And that's Busch's art – he doesn't just act a role, he portrays a famous a film actress acting a role. And he does it wonderfully – the deep vocal inflections, the posed stances, the stylized strutting across the stage are almost kabuki-like in their use, signaling certain emotions with the accuracy of an “Applause” sign being lit. To say the rest of the cast isn't on Busch's level would be an understatement – they just ain't got it. But to compare them almost isn't fair; Busch has spent a whole career honing these skills. The production would have been better served had director Carl Andress taken another approach with the other cast members, who by the way are not untalented – they include the amazing Kristine Nielsen! When Busch isn't on stage, it is a drag (pun intended) but thankfully he is on stage for much of the evening – and when he isn't you know is changing costumes! I would never miss a chance to see Charles Busch, I only wish it weren't so long in between his stints in New York.

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