Following in the footsteps of Sarah Bernhardt, Tallulah Bankhead, Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh, and Elizabeth Taylor, Charles Busch will soon give the world his own original, outrageous and majestic take on the fabled Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. History will never be the same. In his newest show, directed by longtime collaborator Carl Andress, the performer will take to the stage at Theater for a New City in New York with his unique interpretation of the fabled pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, the last of the Hellenistic period. She claimed to be the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis. Performances run from March 22 to April 17, 2016.
Busch at Helsinki Hudson
Prior to that, the tireless Busch will return to the Berkshire-Albany area for one more appearance at Helsinki Hudson. For this visit, Busch will present a special sneak preview of another new show, The Lady at the Mic, which will have its world premiere in late February as part of the acclaimed Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series. In this show, Charles – a two-time MAC Award winner, Tony nominee, and recipient of a Drama Desk Lifetime Achievement Award – pays tribute in song and word to four cabaret legends (Julie Wilson, Mary Cleere Haran, Elaine Stritch and Polly Bergen) plus Joan Rivers, all of whom were close friends. For this special event Charles will be backed by a trio of musicians led by long-time musical director Tom Judson.
This special preview will be presented at Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 7 PM.
Busch is no stranger to gently skewering tough-broad melodramas, ’60s beach frolics, nun movies and religious epics, but no greater role awaits the Hollywood satirist than Cleopatra, in which he slips on the sandals of Elizabeth Taylor and other greats who have played the role of the Egyptian Queen.
The last play of his to be presented in the Berkshires was The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, which Annette Miller starred in to rave reviews at Shakespeare & Company in 2012.
More about Cleopatra
Busch returns to Theater for the New City following the 2010 premiere of The Divine Sister and 2012’s Judith of Bethulia. Both productions were directed by Andress. In December, Busch and Andress brought the 17th edition of the staged reading of Times Square Angel, which has become an annual holiday tradition for Theater for the New City.
The creative team for Charles Busch’s Cleopatra includes scenic and graphic design by B.T. Whitehill, costume design by Jessica Jahn, lighting design by Zach Blane, sound design by Bart Fasbender, and wig design by Katherine Carr.
Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.