A comic thriller in the grand guignol tradition, Tell-Tale has been packing the crowds in at Off-Off-Broadway's P.S. 122 theatre since it opened Friday, the 13th (of June). Originally scheduled to run to July 6, the show has been extended to Aug. 3 and may even go up to September, when the new P.S. 122 season (featuring Eddie Izzard and Karen Finley) must begin.
Written by Erik Jackson and directed by Joshua Rosenzweig, Tell Tale spoof features popular downtown drag artist, Sherry Vine (aka Keith Levy). Vine/Levy serves as artistic director of Theatre Couture, which is presenting the dark spoof and has dished up such other shows as Kitty Killer!, The Bad Weed `73, and the Charlie's-Angels meets-Charles-Manson comedy, Charlie!. Tell-Tale takes its inspiration from both Edgar Allan Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart," and from the true story of Dorian Corey (of filmdom's drag documentary, "Paris Is Burning"), who kept a mummified corpse in her closet.
Marc Happel has designed the Tell-Tale set, with Kevin Adams doing the Tell-Tale lighting and costumes. Puppet artist Basil Twist (Peter And Wendy) has created special effects for the production, such as a bird named Poe, and a Busby-Berkeley style number to close the show wherein the main character is backed up by a chorus of severed body parts.
The story concerns an agoraphobic publishing sensation (Vine) who falls for a seemingly innocent pizza delivery boy (Mario Diaz). Drag performer Jackie Beat plays Vine's trusted housekeeper.
For tickets ($12) and information on Tell-Tale at P.S. 122 at 9th St., call (212) 477-5829. According to production spokesperson Ron Lasko, stars who've already checked out the grotesque goofiness include Jennifer Aniston, Tate Donovan, Greg Allman and Ann Magnuson.
--By David Lefkowitz