Primary Stages commissioned the comedy about a woman contacted from "beyond" and from the apartment next door, which began previews July 26 and will continue through Sept. 3.
Kurtz (The Loman Family Picnic) stars as Olive, alongside Halston, a veteran of Busch's plays (including The Divine Sister), as Wendy, Butler ("Frasier") as Trey, David Garrison (By The Way, Meet Vera Stark) as Robert and Richard Masur ("Rhoda," "One Day at a Time") as Sylvan.
Here is the cast and guests on opening night:
Charles Busch's Olive and the Bitter Herbs, with Marcia Jean Kurtz, Julie Halston and More, Opens Off-Broadway
According to Primary Stages, "Actress Olive Fisher sees a ghost in her mirror, but that's the least of her problems. Her radiator's broken, the couple next door stink up her apartment with exotic cheeses, and the highlight of her long career was a sausage commercial in the '80s. While she's not the most popular tenant, her neighbors invite themselves over and she finds herself hosting a Passover Seder. But are Olive's guests there to see her or the mysterious man in her mirror? Olive and the Bitter Herbs is a comedy about connecting to the people in our lives — those with us and those who have passed on."
Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway and won Busch the Outer Circle Critics John Gassner Award and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays Psycho Beach Party and Die Mommie Die. Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright. His latest play, The Divine Sister, was produced in 2010 by Daryl Roth and Bob Boyett at the Soho Playhouse.
Tickets for Olive and the Bitter Herbs, at the 59E59 Theaters, are available by calling (212) 279-4200. For more information, visit primarystages.org.