Los Angeles Cabaret Preview: CHARLES BUSCH: THAT GIRL/THAT BOY (Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz)

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by Tony Frankel on March 6, 2017

in Theater-Los Angeles,Tours


It was well over 30 years ago that I first saw writer, actor and drag legend Charles Busch. Not only was he hi-larious in his long-running Off-Broadway hit Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, but he looked stunning. Over the years, it has been impossible to avoid this genius as he has become most celebrated dress-wearing actor-playwrights of the American stage. And he still looks amazing. (I know he won a Tony nomination for writing Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. but when is that Beauty Tips book coming out?)

In between writing, drawing, painting, and basically being fabulous, La Busch is visiting the Southland from his Manhattan home to perform some of his cabaret shows. Catch him in Palm Springs, San Diego, La Jolla, or Segerstrom in Costa Mesa with his The Lady at the Mic, which pays tribute through song and personal reminiscence to five extraordinary and much missed women: Elaine Stritch, Polly Bergen, Mary Cleere Haran, Julie Wilson and Joan Rivers, stars of theater, cabaret, and comedy who touched his life in many ways.

But hopefully you can get to Rockwell Table and Stage Monday and Tuesday, March 13-14, 2017, in Los Angeles for his only showing of That Girl/That Boy. Whereas many of his dates are in larger houses, this is a very intimate space. There the star of his own plays, including Die, Mommie, Die! (which is now playing at the Celebration Theatre, actually), plays himself (in drag) as he relates an evening’s worth of songs and stories (well, you’ll also get to see one of his best-known characters, the woebegone and borderline-impossible Miriam Passman, who’s “in a great furor about a masterclass she’s been teaching in the art of cabaret at the Learning Annex”).

His longtime music director and muse Tom Judson will be at the piano (hopefully, he’ll play, too). As with all of Busch’s cabarets, you’ll get stunning storytelling and great songs. And, according to Busch, he’s playing Busch but he comes out looking rather more like Ginger on Gilligan’s Island (boy, that’s a lot of Busch!).

If you don’t believe me, New York Times critic Stephen Holden wrote of That Girl/That Boy “He has the gift of comic gab like few other entertainers. Innately funny, endearing and acutely intelligent, he also has claws. For an audience, the possibility of being scratched, although remote, lends his humor a bracing edge.” Whether in drag or out, Busch is a class act and first-rate actress.

top photo by Frederic Aranda; other photos courtesy Charles Busch

Charles Busch – That Girl/That Boy
Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave
March 13 and 14, 2017 at 8
2 item minimum per person
for tickets, call 323-669-1550 or visit Rockwell

for cabaret cities and dates (and lots more!), visit Charles Busch
to get Busch’s brand new cabaret CD Live at Feinsteins/54 Below, visit Amazon

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