Swingtime Canteen


A musical comedy with a book by Linda Thorsen Bond, William Repicci and Charles Busch.

During World War Two, Marian Ames, a somewhat faded great lady of the screen, is touring for the USO as the bandleader of an all girl band. We see their show in London where they are getting ready to be hooked up to an international radio broadcast. The backstage squabbling of the girls triggered by the announcement that their tour is being abruptly canceled, threatens to destroy their performance. A terrifying bomb scare and blackout forces Marian and the girls to reevaluate their priorities and their patriotism.

The New York Times critic Lawrence Van Gelder would write his review as if a postcard to his mother. "You would have loved it, Mom!  The chin up spirit, the great old songs, a rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You" that could tear your heart out, and a "Sing Sing Sing" that had the place jumping!"

Swingtime Canteen began previews on February 24, 1995 at Off-Broadway's Blue Angel Theatre in New York City.  The show opened in March 14th starring Alison Fraser, Debra Barsha, Emily Loesser, Marcy McGuigan and Jackie Sanders with side musicians Kim Bonsanti, Mary Ann McSweeney and Mikki Ryan.

In July, 1995, Charles Busch took over the role of Marian Ames and in October was joined by special guest Maxene Andrews.


Produced by William Repicci & Michael Minichiello in association with Ken Jilson, Patricia Greenwald and Robert Massimi.  Book by Linda Thorsen Bond, William Repicci and Charles Busch.  Set design by B.T. Whitehill; Costume Design by Robert Mackintosh; Lighting Design by Michael Lincoln; Sound Design by Fox & Perla, Ltd.; Arrangements and Orchestrations by  Bob McDowell; Special Material by Dick Gallagher; Musical Direction by Lawrence Yurman; Casting by Stephanie Klapper; Press by David Rothenberg & Assoc.  Choreography by Barry McNabb; Directed by Kenneth Elliott; Mr. Busch's Wig by Elizabeth Katherine Carr.  Associate Producers: Mel Borowka, James H. Ellis, Michael Estwanik, Joyce M. Sarner.

Stock and amateur rights available through Samuel French, Inc. 45 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10010.

Swingtime Canteen - Group Pic.jpg (21741 bytes)

from left: Debra Barsha, 
Jackie Sanders, Charles Busch, 
Marcy McGuigan, Emily Loesser

Swingtime Canteen - Charles with Andrews2.jpg (16050 bytes)
CB with Maxene Andrews
Swingtime Canteen - Charles with Andrews.jpg (18671 bytes)
CB with Maxene Andrews

New York Times

Time Magazine

Other Plays by Charles Busch
Plays 1976 - 1982    Plays 1984 - 1989    Plays 1991 - 2009     Musicals    Solo Performances

Other Stage Appearances
Auntie Mame    Little Me    The Maids

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