BWW Interview: David Raulston of VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM at Proud Mary Theatre Company
Just in time for Halloween and in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the
campy, vampy drag classic, Spartanburg's award-winning Proud Mary Theatre Company presents the Upstate premiere of VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM, October 25 - November 2 at the West Main
Artists Co-Operative in Spartanburg, SC.
One of the longest-running Off-Broadway plays ever, VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM was written by renowned female impersonator and Tony-nominated playwright of THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE Charles Busch, who also penned dozens of other plays including the satirical comedies PSYCHO BEACH PARTY and DIE MOMMIE DIE.
In this hilarious spoof of celebrity and stardom, two rival vampires cross paths over thousands of years beginning in the Biblical twin cities, and then again in Hollywood in the silent movie era, and, finally, in seedy 1980s Las Vegas.
"The play may have a provocative title," says Artistic Director Sandy Staggs, "But I assure you it is hardly blasphemous or anti-Christian. VAMPIRE LESBIANS is merely a hilarious comedy showcasing sophisticated camp at its best."
David Raulston takes over Busch's role of Madeleine Astarte. This is David's first role at Proud Mary and his South Caroline debut. David is from Jasper, Tennessee and was bitten by the theatre bug at 5 years old when he played Uncle Sam in his preschool graduation. Some of David's favorite roles include PETER PAN (Mr. Smee) and THE PRODUCERS (Mr. Marks/Bryan/Jack Lapidus). He has also worked behind the scenes on many other productions.
What can you tell us about your character who assumes many identities over the millennia?
Madeline Astarte is a survivor, but she has had to learn how to adapt over the years. Her life changed dramatically at the age of 14 and during each era of time she has learned to reinvent herself to fit that time period.
What should audiences expect from VAMPIRE LESBIANS?
VAMPIRE LESBIANS is an exciting roller coaster of a ride following the 2 main characters through the ups and downs of a relationship that spans thousands of years.
Were you familiar with Charles Busch's work before this?
I have been a big fan of Charles Busch. I did props for a production of TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE at the Oak Ridge Playhouse in Oak Ridge, TN and I love his films DIE MOMMIE DIE and PSYCHO BEACH PARTY. Charles is a big Drag Queen and I hope I can do his work justice.
Can you define "Camp" for our readers?
"Camp" by definition is a style of dress, performing or living that is appealing, because of its bad taste and ironic value. To me, "Camp" is over-the-top, a dramatic performance that is so outrageous that it comes back around and seems a bit comedic. The best examples of "Camp" for me is Patty Duke in VALLEY OF THE DOLLS or Faye Dunaway in MOMMIE DEAREST.
Have you played drag characters before or done drag?
This is my first drag role ever, but I don't look at this role as being drag. I look at Madeline as any other character I would play and bring the personality of the character to my performance, whether the character is male or female.
What are the most challenging aspects of your role?
4-inch high heels. The shoes are gorgeous, but there is a mastery to walking in them and I am working on it.
VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM is directed by Kevin Treu, who recently helmed LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Centre Stage and will direct LOST HIGHWAY: THE Hank Williams STORY at Spartanburg Little Theatre in January.
- Friday, October 25 @ 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (LATE SHOW)
- Saturday, October 26 @ 8 p.m.
- Sunday, October 27 @ 3 p.m.
- Thursday, October 31 @ 8 p.m. UPSTATE PRIDE NIGHT
- Friday, November 1 @ 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (LATE SHOW)
- Saturday, November 2 @ 8 p.m.
All shows are at the West Main Artists Co-Operative, 578 West Main St. in Spartanburg. Halloween Night is Upstate Pride Night and a special benefit for Upstate Pride. Tickets are $20 and include pre-show entertainment, performance, Costume Contest and Post-Show Wine Reception. $5 of every ticket benefits Upstate Pride. For Halloween Night tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/halloween-upstate-pride-night-benefit-vampire-lesbians-of-sodom-tickets-
Tickets for all other shows are are $15 General Admission and $12 for Students and available at the door or at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/proud-mary-theatre-company-10898002729