Charles Busch, the Broadway playwright whose The Tale of the Allergist's Wife is keeping crowds laughing at the Barrymore Theatre, returns to his roots as a drag performer for the third annual performance of his cult Christmas comedy, Times Square Angel, 8 PM Dec. 17 in Manhattan.
The 1984 play will be heard in a staged reading (in full costumes, designed by Michael Bottari and Ronald Case) directed by Carl Andress. The performance is at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (between Ninth and Tenth Streets). Reservations for the popular hit are required. Tickets are $20. Call (212) 254-1109.
Times Square Angel was first produced by Busch's theatre company, Theatre-in-Limbo, at the East Village's The Limbo Lounge in 1984 and was subsequently produced Off-Broadway in 1986 and brought back as a holiday tradition in 1991, 1992 and 1999.
The play is a comic 1940's film-noir spin on "A Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life." Busch plays tough-as-nails nightclub chanteuse, Irish O'Flanagan. She's "a hard-luck dame on a quick ride to nowhere" until an angel, in the form of a good-looking former vaudeville magician, returns to Earth to "give her the lowdown on sticking to the straight and narrow." Director Andress, who also plays Albert the Angel, staged Busch's Queen Amarantha and Shanghai Moon. The company includes Andy Halliday, Theresa Aceves, Carl Andress, David Staller, Marcy McGuigan, Jackie Sanders, Sidney Myer, Lawrence Bullock, Flotilla DeBarge, Peter Borzotta, and AJ Vincent.
— By Kenneth Jones