The name "Auntie Mame" certainly conjures up a lot of names from the world of commercial theatre and film: Angela Lansbury, Lucille Ball, Rosalind Russell... But for one night only, downtown NYC will see a reading of Auntie Mame unlike any it's ever heard before. Patrick Dennis' classic comedy about an eccentric aunt raising a young boy amidst a whirl of her international friends and boyfriends, will be read by a host of theatre notables, including Tony Kushner, John Kelly and the Five Lesbian Brothers.
Playing Mame is lesbian performance artist and playwright, Peggy Shaw; playing Vera is Ridiculous Theatrical Company divo Everett Quinton. Also in the cast:
Tony Kushner, author of Angels In America and A Dybbuk.
Penny Arcade, downtown performance artist (Bitch, Dyke, Faghag, Whore!.
Paul Bartel, director of the film Eating Raoul.
Emmett Foster, performance artist
Five Lesbian Brothers (The Secretaries, the current Brides Of The Moon).
Nancy Giles (TV's "China Beach")
Camryn Manheim (St. Joan Of The Stockyards at Yale Rep; Woyzeck at the Public Theatre)
Varla Jean Merman, cabaret drag performer
Moises Kaufman, author director of Gross Indecencies
John Kelly, singer and performance artist (A Certain Level Of Denial
Lola Pashalinski, downtown diva
Carmelita Tropicana, billed as "the national songbird of Cuba."
The Dec. 8 reading takes place at New York Theatre Workshop but is a benefit for the non-commercial space, Dixon Place, now in its 11th year.
For tickets ($40-$50) and information on the 7:30 PM reading of Auntie Mame at NYTW on East 4th St., call (212) 219-3088. -- By David Lefkowitz