Rainbow Theatre Project to Present DIE MOMMIE DIE!, 1/27
The Rainbow Theatre Project presents Charles Busch's dark satire, Die Mommie Die!, as the second of six concert readings scheduled for its inaugural season. Directed by Chris Griffin, Die! plays at Source in D.C. on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., and will be preceded by a reading of Ron Burch's short play, Romeo and Jules.
Die Mommie Die! is a comic melodrama that evokes the 1960's "Grand Guignol" films that featured aging stars such as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner. Ex-pop singer, Angela Andrews, is trapped in a hateful marriage with film producer Sol Sussman. Desperate to find happiness with her younger lover, an out of work TV actor, Tony Parker, Angela murders her husband with the aid of a poisoned suppository. In a plot that reflects Greek tragedy as well as Hollywood kitsch, Angela's Elektra-like daughter, Edith, convinces Angela's emotionally disturbed son, Lance, that they must avenge their father's death by killing their mother. From there more murder, mayhem and hilarity ensue.
Originally staged in Los Angeles in 1999, Die! gained cult status within the LGBT community after a film version was released in 2003, with author Busch starring as Angela Arden, alongside such notable actors as Jason Priestly, Frances Conroy, and Natasha Lyonne. The piece later transferred back to the stage with Busch reprising his role in New York. Though revered for its camp value, Die! also garnered numerous accolades for its impressive costuming.
Producing Artistic Director, H. Lee Gable, stressed the importance of this piece in the realm of LGBT entertainment: "Drag (men dressing as and pretending to be women) has been a part of the gay community since forever. Charles Busch (following in the footsteps of Charles Ludlum) took drag beyond the idea of just a man in a dress and turned it into a legit style of theatre. In doing so, he became an icon of the gay community. I want to show the breadth of gay theatre from A to Z, and having a Charles Busch play in our line-up is mandatory."
Director Chris Griffin is also the Artistic Director of Hope Operas ? D.C.'s only serialized theatre festival premiering five new works each year while raising money for local nonprofits. He was also co-founder of the notorious "perv-punk" theatre company, Cherry Red Productions. He brings a number of veteran D.C. performers with him to fill out the roles in this ensemble.
Griffin was eager to join the project. He said: "I'm excited to direct Die Mommie Die! for the Rainbow Theatre Project, as Charles Busch is a hero of mine. Through Hope Operas I've written 5 plays ? a la Busch ? with big ol' juicy drag roles for my drag alter ego, Lucrezia Blozia. Also really excited to be part of Rainbow Theatre Project's inaugural season and honored to be in the company of some of D.C.'s finest LGBT theatre artists."
Die Mommie Die! Cast:
Patty O'Furnatura (Angela) was last seen at Landless Theatre Company as "Rose" in Night of the Living Golden Girls and as "Multiple Unsavory Ladies" in Haute Mess.
Ernie Achenbach (Tony) is no stranger to Charles Busch's work having played the roles of Starcat and Marvel Ann in Busch's Psycho Beach Party for the local theatre groups Maryland Ensemble Theater and Landless Theatre Company.
Jen Bevan (Edith) has performed for both Hope Operas and Fringe, and can be seen next in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson with Highwood Theatre.
Kim Curtis (Sol) is a member of Washington Shakespeare Company and has acted with many theatres in DC. He is also the Associate Director of Momentum Dance Theatre.
Kris Roth (Bootsie) is a burlesque performance artist and "femme-cee" and has acted, costumed, directed, run tech and stage-managed in the DC theatre scene for 20 years. Kris has also been with D.C.'s experimental Theatre du Jour for ten year as a member and co-creator of plays.
Eric Swarz (Lance) has most recently worked on the Hope Operas and with Fifth Dentist. He is a graduate of Amherst College.