Broadway's Ivey, Bergen, Halston Punctuate Charles Busch Movie, "A Very Serious Person"

By Kenneth Jones
12 Sep 2005

Principal photography was recently completed on "A Very Serious Person," a comedy-drama feature film directed and co-written by — and starring — Charles Busch, the actor-playwright known for Psycho Beach Party, Vampire Lesbians and Sodom and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.



Busch was also behind the cult film, "Die, Mommie, Die!"

Also in the cast of "A Very Serious Person" are Polly Bergen, Dana Ivey, Julie Halston, J. Smith Cameron, Carl Andress, and, in his film debut, 12-year-old P.J. Verhoest (he was the young Peter Allen at matinees of The Boy From Oz)

No release date has been announced for the film. The recent end of shooting was announced Sept. 9.

Daryl Roth, who produced Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Three Tall Women, Wit, Proof, Anna in the Tropics and The Goat, or, Who Is Sylvia?, is the picture's producer with Richard Guay, co-producer of "Kinsey."

Joining Roth and Guay as producers is Starec Productions.

"A Very Serious Person" was filmed entirely in the greater New York area. The original screenplay was co-written by Busch and Carl Andress. In the film, "Busch plays Jan, a male nurse whose new patient (Polly Bergen) has been raising her orphaned grandson Gil (Verhoest)," according to production notes. "The three spend a memorable summer by the seashore in which they form the nucleus of an unusual extended family, and Gil takes his first funny, traumatic steps toward adulthood."

Daryl Roth and Charles Busch's professional collaboration began with Busch's comedy The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Roth was one of the producers who brought it to Broadway from Manhattan Theatre Club. The hit ran ran for nearly two years and launched a national tour.

Most recently, Roth produced "The Lady in Question is Charles Busch," a feature-length documentary on Busch's life and career which has already been seen at the Tribeca Film Festival, L.A.'s Outfest, New York's The New Festival, and many others.

Busch, a 2003 Drama Desk winner for career achievement, also received a Best Play Tony nomination for The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, as well as the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance at Sundance for "Die, Mommie, Die!"

Polly Bergen received a 2001 Tony nomination for her performance in the most recent Broadway revival of Follies. Her recent credits also include "The Sopranos" and the Roundabout revival of Cabaret. Dana Ivey, a four-time Tony nominee, played Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals at Lincoln Center, and created the title role in Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy. Longtime Busch associate Julie Halston is currently appearing in Hairspray and was also in the recent Broadway revivals of Gypsy and Twentieth Century. J. Smith Cameron starred in the plays Fuddy Meers and As Bees in Honey Drown, and will soon be co-starring with Anna Paquin in Kenneth Lonergan's film "Margaret."

Carl Andress appeared in the original cast of the stage version of Die, Mommie, Die in Los Angeles; his directing credits include this summer's True Colors concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Crush, the Infamous Thing at Miami’s Coconut Grove Playhouse.

P.J. Verhoest, who makes his film debut, performed the role of the young Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz at matinee performances, and played Chip in a national tour of Beauty and the Beast.