Long ago and far, far (fictionally) away, lived a rebellious princess who inherited the throne but wasn't content with the duties befitting a queen. So, in true Shakespearean fashion, she dressed up a man to explore gender issues.
Well, that's the plot of Queen Amarantha, Charles Busch's latest comedy, which opened the 1997-98 season at NY's WPA Theatre on West 23rd St. Co-directed by Busch and Carl Andress, the play began previews Oct. 7 and opened Oct. 23. Originally scheduled to run to Nov. 16, the show will close Nov. 9, a victim of mixed reviews, a crowded Off-Broadway field, and audience expectations of a more typical Busch farce.
Starring in the show alongside Busch's Queen will be Ruth Williamson and Marcus Lovett. The former appeared in Busch's The Green Heart at Manhattan Theatre Club; the latter starred as the title role in the recent oratorio, King David.
Designing Queen Amarantha are Eduardo Sicangco (sets and costumes), Michael Lincoln (lighting) and Aural Fixation (sound).
Asked about other plays lined up for the WPA season, a spokesperson from Jeffrey Richards Associates told Playbill On-Line that the theatre was still in the process of making those decisions. "Last year, they announced four plays, but the season ended up looking totally different, so this time, they're just starting with Queen Amarantha and will announce more later on." For tickets and information on Queen Amarantha call (212) 206 0523.
--By David Lefkowitz