While Manhattan Theatre Club considers whether The Tale of the Allergist's Wife will be part of its 1999-00 season, and while fans wonder if Shanghai Moon, which had a workshop production at Theatre for the New City this past winter, will resurface in a more finished form, celebrated drag performer, actor and playwright Charles Busch has been busy working on yet another premiere. Opening July 16 after starting previews July 8 at The Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood is Die! Mommy! Die! Or The Fall of the House of Sussman, a parody of such 1960s gothic horror films as Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte "crossed with the Greek tragedy, Electra."
According to a Coast spokesperson, Busch originally just wanted to adapt Electra so he could play Clytemnestra, but he found the costumes "so drab, so Greek," so he added the horror element and changed the time to 1967 -- "a truly groovy year in fashion."
Busch's usual partner in comedy, Kenneth Elliott, will stage Mommy!, which is scheduled to run through Aug. 8. Elliott also staged the west coast premiere of Busch's Vampire Lesbians of Sodom nearly a decade ago.
A spokesperson for the show told Playbill On-Line the theatre had considered pushing the opening date forward because Busch is also busy working on a film, but instead they've simply been encouraging critics to see the show a little later than the official July 16 opening (though reviewers who need to see it earlier are being accommodated.)
Die! Mommy! Die!, by the author of Psycho Beach Party, The Green Heart, The Lady In Question and Queen Amarantha, features Busch as Angela Andrews, an aging movie star who may have killed her rich, Hollywood producer husband. The latter is played by Greg Mullavey, best known for his recurring role on TV's "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Also in the cast are Dorie Barton, Carl Andress, Wendy Worthington (as "Bootsie") and Mark Capri. For information on Die! Mommy! Die! call (323) 660-8587.
-- By David Lefkowitz