On Saturday, Charles Busch -- currently appearing Off-Broadway in the Drama Dept. production of his play -- was awarded one of two Special Jury Prizes for Outstanding Performance for his work in his film Die, Mommie, Die! at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. (The other prize was awarded to Patricia Clarkson.)
Die, Mommy, Die! is based on a stage play by Busch that was produced at the Coast Playhouse in Los Angeles in 1999, with the author starring. In a recent TheaterMania interview, Busch had this to say to Brian Scott Lipton about the film: "It's the closest thing to one of my stage plays, so if people don't like it, I should probably just retire. It's a Dead Ringer-type story crossed with the Oresteia. Usually, I find acting on screen frustrating because of the smallness of my parts -- but, when you play the lead, it's really exciting. We shot my scenes three ways: underplayed, big, and really over-the-top. It was a challenge to try to maintain my stage persona on film without being grotesque, but I think I got it. There are even some scenes where I think we could've gone bigger!"
TheaterMania's David Finkle, in a review of Shanghai Moon, wrote: "It's the likeability that radiates from Busch as he slips into another gender that makes him such a magnetic stage figure; his innate warmth, much the same quality that Harvey Fierstein has by the pound, is what makes Busch's vehicles amusing." The show's engagement at the Greenwich House Theatre (located at 27 Barrow Street, just off Seventh Avenue South) has been extended through March 9. For tickets, call 212-239-6200.