Charles Busch


Biography


short bio:

CHARLES BUSCH is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which ran five years and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history.  His play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway and won Mr. Busch the Outer Circle Critics John Gassner Award 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. Mr. Busch made his directorial debut with the film A Very Serious Person, which premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won an honorable mention.  He is also the subject of the documentary film The Lady in Question is Charles Busch. 


complete bio:

CHARLES BUSCH is the author and star of such plays as Psycho Beach Party, Times Square Angel, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, You Should Be So LuckyQueen Amarantha and Shanghai Moon.  His play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom ran five years in New York and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history.  In 1988, he wrote a new libretto for the 1955 musical "Ankles Aweigh" for Goodspeed Opera and has also adapted the book of the Truman Capote/Harold Arlen musical "House of Flowers" for a tour with Patti Labelle. On film, he's appeared in "Addams Family Values", "It Could Happen To You" and "Trouble on The Corner."  He  wrote the screenplay and starred in the film version of his play "Psycho Beach Party", which is available on video and DVD.  In June of 1994, Mr. Busch starred in "Charles Busch's `Dressing Up', a one night sold out extravaganza at Town Hall featuring guest stars Milton Berle, Beatrice Arthur and the late Charles Pierce.  In 1995, he co-authored and appeared in a critically acclaimed run in the Off-Broadway musical "Swingtime Canteen." 1997 saw him performing his one man show "Flipping My Wig" at the WPA Theatre and writing the book for the musical "The Green Heart" which was produced by Manhattan Theatre Club at the Variety Arts Theatre.  During this time, Mr. Busch starred as the fabulous Mame Dennis in a memorable staged reading of "Auntie Mame" at the American Place Theatre along with Marcia Lewis, Kelly Bishop, Maxwell Caulfield, Juliet Mills, Barbara Feldon, John Davidson and the late Peggy Cass recreating her original role of Agnes Gooch.   In the summer of 2004 he once again played Mame in a full production at Maine's Ogunquit Playhouse and at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York.   In 2000, Manhattan Theatre Club produced his play "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" starring Linda  Lavin, Tony Roberts and Michele Lee.  It was nominated for a Drama Desk for best play and won Mr. Busch the Outer Critic’s Circle John Gassner Award for Playwriting.  It reopened on Broadway in November, 2001, was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Play and ran 777 performancesHe starred in the film version of his play "Die Mommie Die" for which he won a 2003 Sundance Film Festival award for best performance.  In the winter of 2003, Charles starred in a new production of his play "Shanghai Moon" for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel award and a Drama League Award.  He was also given a special award for career achievement at the 2003 Drama Desk Awards.  For two seasons he appeared as Nat Ginzburg in the HBO series “Oz”.  In 2004, Charles wrote the book to the Broadway musical TabooHis first novel "Whores of Lost Atlantis" was published in hardcover by Hyperion Press and released as a Penguin paperback and republished in May 2005 by Caroll & Graf.  In April, 2005 Charles reunited with his long-time stage partner, Julie Halston, for a Gala Benefit for the Actor's Fund of America at Broadway's Music Box theatre, entitled Charles Busch and Julie Halston, Together on Broadway.  The evening featured the 20th Anniversary performance of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom Mr. Busch made his directorial debut with the film A Very Serious Person, which premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won an honorable mention.  He directed L.A. Theaterworks' radio production of The Tale of the Allergists' Wife starring JoBeth Williams, Richard Kind and Amy Aquino.  He appeared as a guest artist in the off-Broadway play Spalding Gray Stories Left to Tell.  His play Our Leading Lady was presented by Manhattan Theatre Club in 2007 and starred Kate Mulgrew as the 19th century actress Laura Keene. He performed in a revival of his 1989 play The Lady in Question with Julie Halston at The Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor New York in August 2007.  The New York stage premiere of Die Mommie Die opened at The New World Stages for a limited engagement in 2007-2008 with Charles reprising h is role of Angela Arden.  His play The Third Story premiered at the LaJolla Playhouse and was later produced in New York by MCC teaming Charles with Kathleen Turner. In June, 2009, Charles played the formidable Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest for LA Theatreworks. In 2010-2011, he starred in his critically acclaimed comedy The Divine Sister and his play Olive and the Bitter Herbs premiered at Primary Stages in New York.   He is also the subject of the documentary film The Lady in Question is Charles Busch.   Mr. Busch graduated from Northwestern University and is a member of the Dramatist's Guild.