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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch (review)

The Village Voice calls it a “drag to riches story,” and that perfectly sums up this valentine to Charles Busch — playwright, director, drag queen, fixture of the New York downtown theater scene who transferred his unique outlook on the drama inherent in all our lives to mainstream Broadway with unique success. From his underground campfest Vampire Lesbians of Sodom to his popular mainstream play The Allergist’s Wife, this loving look at Busch’s life on the stage, by award-winning documentarians Charles Ignacio and John Catania, starts out poignant, with tales of a lonely little boy who found solace only in old movies, and turns celebratory, as he transforms his powerful obsession with classic Hollywood into, ironically, a cliquey kind of fame and fortune. Theater buffs will love the exploration of what fires one of the most creative minds at work in theater today, and movie fans will be tickled by Busch’s channeling of the grand dames of celluloid in his drag performances. The extras double the running time, and include a featurette on the East Village scene of the 1980s, the short film “Her Royal Escape to Love,” and much more. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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