Charles Busch and Penny Fuller Lend Their Voices For the Upcoming Musical DIVA: LIVE FROM HELL
Charles Busch and Penny Fuller, who appeared together as bosom buddies Mame and Vera in Auntie Mame at the Bay Street Theatre, will lend their voices to Monahan & Oyen's DIVA: Live From Hell. Busch (The Divine Sister, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) will voice the manager of the dingy cabaret venue in Hell, where Desmond Channing (played by Monahan) is doomed to perform his torturous act for eternity. Fuller (Sunday in the Park with George, The Elephant Man), who was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Eve Harrington in the musical Applause, will voice the grandmother of Desmond Channing (loosely inspired by the character of Eve Harrington's nemesis, Margo Channing).
The devilish new musical directed by Daniel Goldstein (Godspell) that charts a high school musical nerd's descent into madness, March 23rd - April 9th at Theater for the New City's Community Space Theater, 155 First Avenue. The production will have its official opening night on Monday, March 27th at 8PM.DIVA: LIVE FROM HELL tells the story of Desmond Channing, a teenager who's spent much of his short life basking in the spotlight. As Drama Club President and star of ALL the productions at his Florida public high school, Desmond never imagined he could fall so far so fast. But when Evan Harris, a hotshot transfer student from New York, rips the rug out from under him, Desmond responds, as any diva would, with lethal force. Now, Desmond is forced to relive his humiliation and insanity over and over again at a cabaret in Hell. As he begins his one-millionth consecutive show, Desmond performs with renewed desperation, in the hopes that he can prove he's learned his lesson and be freed from his eternal, campy torment.
And you thought you were tormented in High School?
Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset andVampire Lesbians of Sodom; one of the longest running plays in the history of Off-Broadway. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wiferan for nearly two years on Broadway, won the Outer Circle Critics' John L. Gassner Award for playwriting 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. For two seasons, he appeared as Nat Ginzburg on the HBO series OZ and is the author of the auto-biographical novel Whores of Lost Atlantis. He has directed two films; the Showtime short subject, Personal Assistant, and a feature, A Very Serious Person, which won an honorable mention at the Tribeca Film Festival. Due to his love and knowledge of film and theatre history, he has appeared in numerous documentaries for Turner Classic Movies and has lectured and conducted master classes at many colleges and universities including NYU, Harvard, UCLA and Amherst College. In 2003, Mr. Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright and was given a star on the Playwrights Walk outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre. He is also the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Lady in Question is Charles Busch. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Penny Fuller has appeared on Broadway and beyond, with parts in the original productions of CABARET, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK and A NEW BRAIN in addition to winning an Emmy for her work on TV in THE ELEPHANT MAN, as well as many other TV appearances and roles in the films ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. She has received two Tony Award nominations, for her role as Eve Harrington in APPLAUSE in 1970 and for her performance in the 2001 play THE DINNER PARTY. She is currently appearing in the hit Broadway revival of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE.
DIVA: LIVE FROM HELL was originally developed by Less Than Rent Theatre as a short solo comedy under the title DIVA. It premiered at Theatre Row as part of the 2013 United Solo Theatre Festival. After an award-winning run in the festival, DIVA was published by Indie Theater Now. Monahan later teamed up with Oyen to expand the piece into a 75-minute solo musical, which was workshopped at Pearl Studios and Axis Theatre. Excerpts from DIVA: LIVE FROM HELL have been performed at the Bruno Walter at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, and Fordham University.
DIVA: LIVE FROM HELL features choreography by Jennifer Jancuska, Set Design by Daniel Geggatt & Caitlyn Murphy, Costume Design by Tilly Grimes, Sound Design by Emily Auciello and Lighting Design by Daisy Long. It is produced by Jenna Grossano. The assistant director is Max Friedman.SEAN Patrick Monahan (Book & Characters) is a playwright, performer, and hopeless Angela Lansbury addict. Plays include RODHAM/SADE (Sanctuary @ HERE Arts Center), AUNT JACK (Wide Eyed Winks), WHAT DO YOU CALL A-? (Rhapsody Collective), Little Mac, Little Mac, YOU'RE THE VERY MAN! (written w/ James Presson, Less Than Rent), 6B (Fordham University), and GALLOWS TREE (Winner Best One-Act 2012, Manhattan Repertory Theatre). As an actor, Sean Patrick has performed at the Vineyard Theatre, the Helen Hayes, New World Stages, and, most recently, The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in The Amoralists' world-premiere production of Ken Urban's NIBBLER. Other acting credits include THE VAST MACHINE (Axis Theatre), FMK (Under St. Marks), LITTLE TOWN BLUES (The Wild Project), OUTLAWS (le Poisson Rouge), and A STOOP ON ORCHARD STREET (Mazer Theatre). Sean Patrick is thrilled to be returning to Theater for the New City, having performed there every year since 2004 in Charles Busch's TIMES SQUARE ANGEL. Sean Patrick's greatest theatrical achievement was crafting the high school club constitution for Thespian Troupe 132, which was never enacted due to the short-sightedness of the club's administration. Alexander Sage Oyen (Music & Lyrics) is the recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation's Lucille and Jack Yellen award for lyricists. His musicals include OUTLAWS (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals- book by James Presson, dir. Noah Himmelstein), ARCHIE'S FINAL PROJECT (Book by James Presson and David Lee Miller), A NIGHT LIKE THIS (book, music, lyrics, directed by Blayze Teicher, 54 Below) and MOMENT BY MOMENT (directed by Brandon Ivie, 54 Below. Production at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand). He and collaborator James Presson were awarded the 2013-2014 Dramatist Guild Fellowship and their musical, OUTLAWS, was the recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Workshop. He was named one of Playbill's "Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know," and he was selected for the 2014 Johnny Mercer Songwriter's Project. Additionally, he was a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist. His music has been heard at Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Symphony Space, 54 Below, Joe's Pub, Playwrights Horizons, The Signature Theatre, New World Stages, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and venues in Thailand, London, The Netherlands and all across the world. His theatrical rock band, Discount Ghost Stories! can be seen playing through every borough and the astral plains. The cast album for his song cycle, MOMENT BY MOMENT, is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon. Proud member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild. Daniel Goldstein (Director) is the director of the Broadway revival of GODSPELL. His recent projects include ANYTHING GOES (Goodspeed Musicals), DAMN YANKEES (Goodspeed) VENUS IN FUR (Huntington Theater Company), HELLO, DOLLY! (Goodspeed), TURBULENCE (New National Theater, Tokyo), TAMAR OF THE RIVER (Prospect Theater, NYC), SNAPSHOTS (Goodspeed, Village Theater, Arizona Theater Company), ANNA CHRISTIE (Old Globe), GOD OF CARNAGE (Huntington), GOLDEN BOY (Juilliard), ANNIE (St. Louis MUNY), ARTIFICIAL FELLOW TRAVELER by Ethan Sandler (Williamstown Theater Festival, Black Dahlia Theater Open Door Theater), CLEAR (O'Neill National Music Theater Conference), TRUE WEST (Williamstown), MISS MARGARIDA'S WAY (Bay Street Theater, with Julie Halston), A NEW BRAIN (Toho Theater, Tokyo), MARY'S WEDDING (Two River Theater), GODSPELL (Papermill), WALMARTOPIA (Minetta Lane), FALSETTOS, LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES and THE CRY OF THE REED (Huntington), BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER (NYMF) and LIVING ROOM IN AFRICA (Gloucester Stage). As a writer, Daniel is the winner of the 2016 Kleban Prize for Most Promising Musical Theater Librettist of the year. He was the recipient of an inaugural Calderwood Commission from the Huntington Theater Company, for which he wrote an original musical with Michael Friedman entitled UNKNOWN SOLDIER, which was developed at the O'Neill National Music Theater Conference, and Manhattan Theater Club and had its world premiere at the Williamstown Theater Festival. He is the recipient of a New York Voices commission from The Public Theater, with singer/songwriter Dawn Landes for which they wrote ROW, adapted from A PEARL IN THE STORM. His film NO SHE WASN'T, written by Ethan Sandler and starring Katie Lowes was completed this summer. Performances of DIVA: LIVE FROM HELL are on Thursday March 23 at 8pm; Friday, March 24 at 8pm; Saturday, March 25 at 8pm; Sunday, March 26 at 3pm; Monday, March 27 at 8pm; Wednesday, March 29 at 8pm; Thursday, March 30 at 8pm; Friday, March 31 at 8pm; Saturday April 1 at 8pm; Sunday April 2 at 8pm; Wednesday, April 5 at 8pm; Thursday April 6 at 8pm; Friday April 7 at 8pm; Saturday April 8 at 8pm; Sunday April 9 at 3pm Tickets are $18 and available online at www.theaterforthenewcity.net or by phone (212) 254-1109. Theater for the New City's Community Space Theater is located at 155 1st Avenue (btw 9th and 10th streets) in Manhattan.