Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium


Theodora - Limbo Lounge Flyer.jpg (64994 bytes)

 Flyer for our first 

Production of "Theodora"

Theodora,  She-Bitch of Byzantium was the second play we did at the Limbo Lounge.  It was June 8, 1984, and New York was in the grip of a blistering heat wave.  The Limbo Lounge was not air conditioned, so we decided to move our operations outside to the sculpture garden Limbo shared with its neighboring art gallery, Gracie Mansion.  The backyard sculpture garden was currently exhibiting some rather erotic totem poles.  We thought they were the perfect setting for our Byzantine tragedy.

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.


CREDITS

Written by Charles Busch; Directed by Kenneth Elliott; Scenic Design by B.T. Whitehill; Wigs by Elizabeth Katherine Carr, Lighting by Vivien Leone; Choreography by Jeff Veazey; Production Stage Manager, Elizabeth Katherine Carr.  

CAST

Tom Aulino, Charles Busch, Robert Carey, Kenneth Elliott, Andy Halliday, Julie Halston, Arnie Kolodner, Theresa Marlowe.  (Aunt Vulva understudy: Randi Klein)

Three Plays by Charles Busch  Pic Theo.jpg (26076 bytes)

photo by George Dudley

Ken Elliott (left) as the
Emperor with his Empress
 (CB)

Theodora - with bobby.jpg (9848 bytes)

photo by George Dudley

CB poised to strike the 
nubile Robert Carey

 

Theodora - gracie mansion garden.jpg (165900 bytes)

photo from People Magazine

In art dealer Gracie Mansion's sculpture garden, CB (right) plays Theodora, the She-Bitch with Kenneth Elliott (left) and Julie Halston (center)

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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