Busch reunites with frequent co-star Julie Halston and Tony nominee Alison Frasier for the play that is inspired by nuns in Hollywood fils. Performances began Feb. 6 and will continue through March 7.
Carl Andress, who staged Busch's Die Mommie Die! and The Third Story Off-Broadway, directs. TNC is also where Busch and Andress premiered Shanghai Moon in 1999 prior to its Off-Broadway commercial bow.
"Any time Charles writes a new play, it’s a special event, but after seeing The Divine Sister dress rehearsal, I knew we had the hottest ticket in town," said TNC executive artistic director Crystal Field in a statement. "Now, just three performances into the run and we are already sold out. I’m so happy to have Charles and Carl’s hysterically funny production here at Theater for the New City and anytime Charles and Carl want to come downtown and play, they will always have a sandbox here."
Busch stars as Mother Superior with Halston (Hairspray, Twentieth Century) as Sister Acacius, Fraser (Gypsy, The Secret Garden) as Sister Walburga/Mrs. MacDuffie, Amy Rutberg (Our Leading Lady) as Agnes, Jennifer Van Dyck (The Third Story, Hedda Gabler) as Mrs. Levinson/Timothy and Jonathan Walker (The Third Story, Dinner with Friends) as Jeremy/Brother Venerius.
According to press notes, "The Divine Sister is an outrageous comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns. Evoking such films as 'The Song of Bernadette,' 'The Bells of St. Mary's,' 'The Singing Nun and Agnes of God,' The Divine Sister tells the story of St. Veronica’s indomitable Mother Superior who is determined to build a new school for her Pittsburgh convent. Along the way, she has to deal with a young postulant who is experiencing 'visions,' sexual hysteria among her nuns, a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun visiting from the Mother House in Berlin, and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows." A design team of frequent Busch collaborators has been assembled for the production, including B.T. Whitehill (scenic and graphic design), Fabio Toblini (costume design), Kirk Bookman (lighting design), Jill B.C. Du Boff (sound design) and Lewis Flinn (original music).
Charles Busch is both a celebrated playwright and performer. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, which began life at the Manhattan Theatre Club, later transferred to Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. He wrote the book for the Broadway mounting of Taboo, and he also penned the screenplays for and starred in the films "Die, Mommie, Die" and "Psycho Beach Party." His noted plays include The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and the long-running Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. Busch's recent Off-Broadway appearances include The Third Story and Die, Mommie, Die. He made his directorial film debut with "A Very Serious Person."
A wait list for cancelled tickets will be in effect for all performances. To be placed on the list, phone (212) 254-1109.
The Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue in Manhattan.