Three Plays by Charles Busch




Three Plays by Charles Busch.jpg (42170 bytes)"Mr. Busch is a first-class satirist and farceur."
-MIMI KRAMER, The New Yorker

William Shakespeare had the Globe. Molière had the Palais-Royal. Chekhov had the Moscow Art Theatre. And Charles Busch had the Limbo Lounge.

Working with an extraordinary team of actors and designers, playing to a notoriously tough house, Busch mastered his unique brand of comedy: the world, past and present, as seen through the eyes of a star-struck devotée of Hollywood B movies.

Theodora, She-bitch of Byzantium, adapted from a heroic tragedy by Victorien Sardou, is Busch's tongue-in-cheek tribute to the divine Sarah Bernhardt, with a knowing nod to Cecil B. De Mille.

In Times Square Angel, Irish O'Flanagan- once a sweet, scrappy street kid, now a jaded burlesque queen-is rescued from a bitter end by an angel only recently headlining on the Orpheum Circuit.

And in Pardon My Inquisition, a martyr is made of a highly unlikely Spanish spitfire, a virtuoso on the castanets.

As an added value in this exclusive book club edition, Charles Busch provides, in a running commentary throughout the three scripts, a hilarious glimpse into the mad, mad world of Theatre-in-Limbo.


The Fireside Theatre Publication*

Jacket Design by B.T. Whitehill    Cover photo by Andrew Schwartz

Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium

Inspired by Sardou’s “Theodora”, this one-act play tells the tale of the Empress Theodora, a former circus performer, trapped in a loveless marriage to the perverse Emperor Justinian. One night, masquerading as a boy, she visits her old friend, Fata Morgana, the queen of the gypsies. Fata gives Theodora a love potion to give to the pederastic emperor. Unfortunately, she downs the cocktail herself and falls instantly in love with Andreas, a handsome revolutionary who is plotting to kill her husband. Andreas, of course, has no idea of her true identity. Tragedy occurs  when Andreas and his co-conspirator, Marcus, steal into the palace to assassinate the Emperor. They are caught and tortured. Theodora is caught helping their escape. There is a particularly sordid and thrilling moment when Theodora tries to stab Marcus with her gold hair pin to spare him the grotesque death he will receive at the hands of the Emperor. By the end of the play,  the entire cast lies dead with Theodora , the last survivor, plunging a dagger into herself.

 For production inquiries, please contact Marc Glick, Glick and Weintraub, 1501 Broadway, suite 2401, NY, NY 10036.

Times Square Angel 

New York, 1948. Irish O’Flanagan is the tough as nails, red-headed headliner of the Club Intime. A lifetime of hard knocks has left her bitter and with a chip on her shoulder the size of Mount Rushmore. In the spirit of fantasies such as “A Christmas Carol”, “It’s a Wonderful Life" and  “The Bishop’s Wife”, an angel in the form of a sexy vaudeville magician named Albert comes down to show Irish that the path she’s been taking is leading her to disaster. He takes her on a journey that reveals that in the next twenty-four hours, she’ll be killed in a botched kidnapping of a corrupt senator’s beautiful daughter, Valerie, engineered by the notorious gangster, Chick LaFountain. Irish rejects this look into her future but when indeed everything comes to pass, she desperately tries to no avail to change her fate. At the moment when Chick LaFountain is about to shoot Irish for real, Albert makes a deal with the Lord to save her life. However, his good deed must be an anonymous one. Like Scrooge, Irish has a chance to begin again. She saves Valerie and with the help of her devoted longtime admirer, a busboy named Eddie, and her faithful maid, Peona, has Chick sent up the river. Irish and her friends go caroling in Times Square, and for one brief moment, she remembers the wonderful gift that Albert the angel has given her. He blows her a kiss and she feels it against her cheek.  Albert is able to return to Heaven knowing Irish will be all right.

 Stock and amateur rights available through Samuel French, Inc.  45 West 25th Street, NY, NY 10010. For all other inquiries, contact Marc Glick, Glick and Weintraub, 1501 Broadway, suite 2401, NY, NY 10036. 

Pardon My Inquisition or Kiss the Blood Off My Castanets 

An outrageous one-act comic melodrama set in Spain during the terrifying days of the Inquisition. Maria Garbonza, a wild spitfire of a prostitute, is madly in love with the soldier of fortune, Don Arturo. Unfortunately, he is engaged in an illicit affair with her look-alike, the married noblewoman, the Marquesa Del Drago. Maria, arranges for the Marquesa to be arrested for adultery and sentenced to death by the Inquisition. When Maria’s beloved younger brother is killed in a dual defending her honor, she has a religious epiphany. In a plot twisted out of “A Tale of Two Cities, Maria takes the Marquesa’s place in prison and goes to her death with the nobility of a great lady. 

All inquiries should be made to Marc Glick, Glick and Weintraub, 1501 Broadway, suite 2401, New York, NY 10036

* Currently out of print