Charles Busch's The Confession of Lily Dare Begins at the Cherry Lane

Off-Broadway News   Charles Busch's The Confession of Lily Dare Begins at the Cherry Lane
Busch’s newest play, a comic melodrama and celebration of 1930s pre-code cinema, is presented by Primary Stages.
Charles Busch
Charles Busch Michael Wakefield

Performances begin January 11 at the Cherry Lane Theater for Primary Stages' production of The Confession of Lily Dare by Charles Busch. Joining playwright and performer Busch in the Off-Broadway production are Nancy Anderson, Christopher Borg, Howard McGillin, Kendal Sparks, and Jennifer Van Dyck.

Busch’s newest play follows a woman’s tumultuous passage from convent girl to glittering cabaret chanteuse to infamous madame of a string of brothels—all while hiding her undying devotion to the child she was forced to abandon.

A comic melodrama, the Carl Andress-helmed production celebrates the gauzy “confession film” tearjerkers of early 1930s pre-code cinema, such as The Sin of Madelon Claudet, Frisco Jenny, and Madame X.

The Confession of Lily Dare, which will officially open January 29, features set design by B.T. Whitehill, costume design by Rachel Townsend, lighting design by Kirk Bookman, sound design by Bart Fasbender, wig design by Katherine Carr, and original song and arrangements by Tom Judson. Busch’s costumes will be designed by Jessica Jahn.

The Confession of Lily Dare is produced in association with Jamie deRoy and Ted Snowden.

Busch and McGillin have been special guest performers 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, Aaron Lazar, Beth Leavel, 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) and Broadway on the Caribbean (February 15–22, 2021), with performers soon to be announced. To book a suite or stateroom, call Playbill Travel at 866-455-6789 or visit

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