Charles Busch's DIE! MOMMIE, DIE! to Make Bay Area Debut at NCTC, 10/5-11/2

New Conservatory Theatre Center welcomes back the Hollywood glamour and camp hilarity of Charles Busch with the Bay Area Premiere of Die! Mommie, Die!.

After the great success of Charles Busch's The Divine Sister at NCTC in 2013, NCTC presents the play L.A. Times calls "very nearly illegally entertaining." The time is the 1960's and fallen pop singer Angela Arden is trapped in a corrosive marriage with her film producer husband. Desperate to find happiness with her young lover, Angela murders her husband, leaving their two children to avenge his death. Part Greek tragedy, part Hollywood kitsch - this is Charles Busch at his best!

Set to play the doomed titular mother originated by Busch on stage and screen is J. Conrad Frank, the celebrated actor, singer, and creator of the San Francisco drag cabaret sensation Katya Smirnoff-Skyy.

Die! Mommie, Die! runs October 5 - November 2, 2014 in NCTC's Decker Theater. Opening Night is Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 8pm. Tickets are $25 - $45 and are available at or by calling (415) 861-8972.

NCTC's Producer's Circle, in association with Yale GALA: Yale's LGBT Alumni Association and the Yale Club of San Franciscco, will present a special conversation with Charles Busch with NCTC Founder & Artistic Director Ed Decker, Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 7pm. After the discussion, Busch will sign copies of Die! Mommie, Die!¸ which will be available for purchase. Admission is free for NCTC subscribers and $25 for non-subscribers, reservations required through the Box Office.

Die, Mommie, Die! premiered in Los Angeles in 1999, was adapted by Busch into a celebrated film in 2004 and later premiered in New York at New World Stages in 2007.

In addition to J. Conrad Frank, the Die! Mommie, Die! cast will feature Ali Haas, Justin Liszanckie, Devin O'Brien, Marie O'Donnell, and Joe Wicht.

The Die! Mommie, Die! creative team will feature Scenic Design by Kuo-Hao Lo, Costume Design by Jorge Hernandez, Dresses by Mr. David, Prop Design by Kirsten Royston, and stage management by Stephanie Desnoyers.

Playwright 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; one of the longest running plays in the history of Off-Broadway. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife ran for777 performances 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. He is a two-time Manhattan Cabaret Award Winner and has performed his cabaret act in New York at 54 Below, Provincetown, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Atlanta, and New Orleans. 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.

Director F. Allen Sawyer is a frequent collaborator at NCTC, including the company's last production of a Charles Busch play, The Divine Sister, in 2013. Last season, he directed the return engagement of Dirty Little Showtunes and Devil Boys From Beyond. Other productions for NCTC include Dear Harvey, It's Murder Mary, Zanna Don't, Dames At Sea, The Temperamentals. He is also the author of many plays including: Whatever Happened to Sister George, Gross Indulgences: The Trials of Liberace, Hot Pants Homo, Senator Swish and Lavender Locker Room.

J. Conrad Frank (Angela Andrews) has been performing as Katya Smirnoff-Skyy for 9 years, including sold-out shows in New York and Provincetown and locally at Feinstein's at The Nikko, the former Rrazz Room, Eureka Theater, and Z Below; he also appears in a monthly show at Martuni's piano bar, and hosts Broadway Bingo at Feinstein's at the Nikko. Frank was named Best Drag Act 2008 by San Francisco Bay Guardian and won a 2010 Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in

Katya... A Holiday Spectacular at NCTC. In roles other than Katya, Frank has appeared in The Divine Sister and The Temperamentals at NCTC, Sweeney Todd at Ray of Light Theatre, Clue at Boxcar Theatre, and Jungle Red at The Victoria. Frank also appeared as Joan Crawford in the 2008 film Baby Jane.

Special Engagements:

During the run of the show, theatre lovers can enjoy many special events:

  • Special Conversation with Charles Busch with NCTC Founder and Artistic Director Ed Decker
  • Presented by the NCTC Producer Club and Yale GALA: Yale's LGBT Association and the Yale Club of San Francisco
  • Tuesday, September 23rd at 7pm.
  • Onstage Insight, Post-Show Discussion after the following performance:
    • Sunday, October 19th at 2pm- Panel discussion featuring the cast.
  • Low-cost Previews take place on Friday, October 3rd - Friday, October 10th.
  • Community Pay What You Wish Tickets: A limited number of tickets are held for each preview performance for our Pay-What-You-Wish program. These tickets cannot be reserved or purchased in advance and are only available for walkup sales beginning 1 hour before the performance. These tickets must be purchased in person.
  • Opening Night will take place on Saturday, October 11th at 8pm. The performance will be followed by a reception with the cast, designers and director.

New Conservatory Theatre Center is San Francisco's premier LGBTQIA and allied performing arts institution and progressive arts education conservatory since 1981. NCTC is renowned for its diverse range of innovative, high quality productions, touring productions and shows for young audiences; its foundational anti-bullying work with youth and educators through YouthAware; and its commitment to nurturing emerging artists and playwrights to expand the canon of queer and allied dramatic work.

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