Sold Out Crowds Cheer for Charles Busch in THAT GIRL/THAT BOY
Just as death knells and obituaries are beginning to appear in the press for cabaret in Los Angeles (usually by inexperienced journalists in their 20s who seem to think that entertainment is restricted to their computers, IPads and IPhones), proof to the contrary arrives in the form of one Charles Busch in “THAT GIRL/ THAT BOY” at Rockwell stage and table on March 13th and 14th . With sold out and standing room only crowds, not to mention multiple standing ovations, clearly cabaret’s heart was beating strong and proud.
The inimitable Charles Busch, two-time MAC Award winner, Tony nominee, and drag legend, brought a unique style and flaire to culturally hungry LA patrons with “That Girl/That Boy,” an eclectic program of songs both contemporary and from the past. From “Thanks A Lot but No Thanks” (Andre Previn/ Betty Comden/ Adolph Green) and “The Road to Morocco” (James Van Heusen/ Johnny Burke) to “I Wonder What Became of Me” (Harold Arlen/ Johnny Mercer) and “Winning Streak” (Ashley Monroe) as well as “Rainbow Connection” (Paul Williams/ Kenneth Ascher), coupled with brilliant banter that kept the audience involved, enthralled and entranced.
“That Girl/That Boy” at Rockwell was presented by Monica Rosenthal and Scott Mauro (DEAR EVANSEN, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT), reuniting Busch and Rosenthal, since her first professional job as an actress in Busch’s VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM back in New York in the role of Reva Vein. New York Times critic Stephen Holden wrote, “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.” Accompanied by his dashing longtime musical director, Tom Judson, Charles combines hilarious personal reminiscence, character sketches along with superb storytelling through song into one glittering and glamorous evening of classic and unforgettable cabaret.
Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as “The Divine Sister,” “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom,” “The Tribute Artist” and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,” which ran for nearly two years on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays, “Psycho Beach Party” and “Die Mommie Die,” the latter of which won him the Best Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2003, Mr. Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright. He is also the subject of the acclaimed documentary film “The Lady in Question is Charles Busch.” He is a two-time MAC award winner and has performed his cabaret act in many cities including San Francisco, Provincetown, Palm Springs, New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, London, Paris and in New York at 54 Below. In winter of 2016, his show The Lady at the Mic premiered at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series.
Musical Director, Tom Judson, has appeared on Broadway in the Roundabout Theater production of “Cabaret” at Studio 54. He toured the country in that show and in “42nd Street.” He composed the score to Whit Stillman’s indie film classic “Metropolitan” and has written songs for “Sesame Street,” Ann Magnuson, Lisa Kron and many others. Tom is also an author (Laid Bare), magazine columnist and Huffington Post contributor.
Photo Credit: By B. Harlan Boll