Charles Busch, the Broadway playwright whose The Tale of the Allergist's Wife is slaying them in the aisles at the Barrymore Theatre, returns to his roots as a drag performer for two Dec. 17 performances of his cult Christmas comedy, Times Square Angel, in Manhattan.
The 1984 play will be heard in a staged reading (in full costume) directed by Carl Andress. Performances are 2 PM and 4PM Dec. 17 at the Theatre for the New City, 155 First Avenue (between Ninth and Tenth Streets). A box office spokesperson told Playbill On-Line (Dec. 15) that tickets for both readings had completely sold out.
Times Square Angel was first produced by Busch's theatre company, Theatre-in-Limbo, at the East Village's The Limbo Lounge in 1984 and was subsequently produced Off Broadway in 1986 and brought back as a holiday tradition in 1991, 1992 and 1999.
The play is a comic 1940's film-noir spin on "A Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life." Busch plays tough-as-nails nightclub chanteuse, Irish O'Flanagan. She's "a hard-luck dame on a quick ride to nowhere" until an angel, in the form of a good-looking former vaudeville magician, returns to Earth to "give her the lowdown on sticking to the straight and narrow." Director Andress, who also plays Albert the Angel, staged Busch's Queen Amarantha and Shanghai Moon. Recreating their original roles will be long-time Busch co-stars Andy Halliday, Therese Aceves and Ralph Buckley. The cast also includes cabaret performer David Staller, drag star Flotilla DeBarge, Marcy McQuigan, Jackie Sanders, Sidney Myer, Peter Borzotta and Larry Bullock.
All seats are $20. For reservations, call (212) 254-1109.
— By Kenneth Jones