During the last quarter of the 20th century, New York saw the arrival of artists of the caliber of Charles Ludlum and Charles Busch. These men's love for the movies that had shaped their youth, started their own views of those idols when they established companies that capitalized on the type of 'ridiculous' theater where they, in turn, reinterpreted the way those larger than life figures influenced them.
While Charles Ludlum, the creator of the Theater of the Ridiculous, passed away at the peak of his creative years, Charles Busch went on to establish himself as one of the best exponents of this genre. Charles Busch's humble beginnings can be traced to his days at the Limbo Lounge where he and his friends would perform for his followers, most of whom were gay, and who really appreciated Mr. Busch's humor. It wasn't until the Establishment press, by way of a New York Times reporter, wrote about what Charles Busch and his clan were creating, that New Yorkers embraced this new type of hilarious insanity.
Charles Busch's biggest hit was "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom", a play that established him and his collaborators as legitimate exponents of this new form of theater. All this is the basis of this wonderful documentary shown recently on the Sundance Channel. As directed by John Catania and Charles Ignacio, we are taken to hear first hand by Charles Busch and his close friends and members of his group what it was all about.
Mr. Busch is a kind man whose contributions have brought joy and entertainment to theater lovers. In the film we hear first hand accounts by Theresa Aceves, Kenneth Elliott, Julie Halston, Carl Andres, and others about what it was to be associated to Mr. Busch from those obscure days to the present. We also see interviews by such personalities as Boy George, Michael Musto, Paul Rudnick, Rosie O'Connell, Kathleen Turner, and B. D. Wong, among others where they give praise to an unique voice in the New York scene: Charles Busch!
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