Charles Busch's new play, "The Third Story", opened last night. Here is the poster for the show:
That's Charles over there on the right, brandishing the gun. Yes, he's in drag. Great drag. Drag that would make Barbara Stanwyck proud. Drag that would make Bette Davis eat her frickin' heart out.
My college roomie and I saw the play on Saturday. I thought it was wonderful. Ben Brantley, in today's NYTimes, didn't quite agree with me. He thought Mr. Busch's co-star, Kathleen Turner:
didn't have enough to do. "Hey", I said to myself when I read that, "She's an old broad. What the frig did he expect her to do? Cartwheels, ferchrissakes?" He also bitched that it was overwritten and could use some judicious weed-whacking.
Okay, so it's a couple of movies within a play. It's complicated. It's fun. If you can't keep up, stay the frig outta the theater. TV is for the brain-dead. Theater is for those of us with a few brain cells left.
The cast is terrific. The audience obviously adored Kathleen and Charles (myself included). And unlike at those overpriced Disney-fied productions you see uptown, the audience did NOT instantly leap to it's feet upon the final curtain to lavish unwarranted praise upon a bunch of class-B performers in a class-C production. The audience I saw it with applauded (and "bravaed") lustily, but respectfully kept it's seats until the cast had left the stage.
It's playing at the Lucille Lortel Theater, down on Christopher Street (deep in the heart of Greenwich Village). If you're in town and looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours for about sixty bucks, go see it.
And if, like me, you're of a "certain age" it will undoubtedly stir up memories of your childhood, which you spent hiding out on Saturdays in movie palaces of yore, while golden goddesses of the silver screen stirred your fevered imaginations and who, decades later, still make us feel all warm and cozy inside. Even while brandishing a gun.