Charles Busch Stars in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife to Benefit Actors Fund

Readings and Workshops   Charles Busch Stars in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife to Benefit Actors Fund
Original stars Linda Lavin, Michele Lee, Tony Roberts, and Anil Kumar are also part of the November 18 reading.
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Charles Busch Monica Simoes

The Actors Fund presents a benefit reading of Charles Busch’s Tony-nominated play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife November 18 at 7:30 PM at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

The evening stars Busch in the title role, which was originally played by Tony winner Linda Lavin. Lavin plays the role of Frieda, the part created by the late Shirl Bernheim, with original cast members Michele Lee, Tony Roberts, and Anil Kumar in their original roles. Original director Lynne Meadow helms.

<i>The Tale of the Allergist&#39;s Wife</i>
The Tale of the Allergist's Wife

“In 2017, I attended The Actors Fund Gala honoring Hal Prince, and after that evening, I was inspired to organize something special to support The Actors Fund,” Lavin said in an earlier statement. “I called up Charles with the idea of revisiting his perfect play. I loved playing the role of Marjorie, but I thought for this special one-night event, it would be marvelous having our playwright, Charles Busch, who has had a long award-winning career playing female roles, play her. So I urged him if we were going to do this, he had to play the role of Marjorie as he had found that character as a performer before he even expanded it into a play. I had played Frieda at The Red Barn Studio Theatre in Wilmington, North Carolina (the theatre my husband Steve Bakunas and I created), and thought it would be fitting and exciting for me to play it again. It honestly feels like we were all together just doing this play the other day, and I can’t believe we are lucky enough to come together and do this one more time—led again by the incredible Lynne Meadow—to benefit such a wonderful and important organization.”

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Originally produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, Carole Shorenstein Hays, Stuart Thompson, and Douglas S. Cramer, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife ran November 2, 2000–September 15, 2002, playing 25 previews and 777 performances. The show received Tony nominations for Best Play, Best Actress in a Play (Lavin), and Best Featured Actress in a Play (Lee).

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Busch has been a special guest performer on Playbill Travel’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are now on sale for Broadway in the Great Northwest, Playbill Travel’s first domestic cruise featuring Kate Baldwin, Tedd Firth, Christopher Fitzgerald, Aaron Lazar, and Faith Prince (April 26–May 4, 2020), and for Broadway on the Mediterranean (August 31–September 7, 2020), featuring Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Gavin Creel, Caissie Levy and Lindsay Mendez, and for Broadway on the Nile (December 27, 2020–January 7, 2021), with performers soon to be announced. To book a suite or stateroom, call Playbill Travel at 866-455-6789 or visit

(Updated November 18, 2019)

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