The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch

"Very Good"

The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch Review


As the world's most ardent fan of the golden age of Hollywood B-movie camp, playwright/actor Charles Busch has made a busy career out of writing and starring in plays and movies that parody the perils of over-the-top leading ladies of yesteryear. He's usually the lady -- his drag is impeccable -- hence the title of this documentary, The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch, itself a title lifted from the 1940 Rita Hayworth potboiler The Lady in Question.

A classic misunderstood sissy and closet theater queen, Busch luckily made his way to the darkest corners of New York's East Village just in time to catch a wave of creative energy that pulsated downtown in the early '80s. With an enthusiastic group of hangers-on in tow, he was able to put his "let's-put-on-a-show" attitude to work, cranking out a long string of camptastic plays for the downtown demimonde including Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Psycho Beach Party, and the memorably titled Theodora: She-Bitch of Byzantium. His Theater In Limbo troupe became the toast of the town, or at least a certain part of town.

This loving tribute to Busch's talent and ambition, which includes plenty of low-quality video clips of his earliest performances, is a delightful demonstration of unstoppable artistic drive. Busch just had to be on stage and he had to be in drag, and God love him, he made it happen. After 15 years or so, he was able to make a living at it, with some of his productions landing in legit houses and even heading for Hollywood, where Psycho Beach Party and Die, Mommie, Die have both become cult hits (and are highly recommended rentals). Along the way, a dangerous heart condition has threatened to cut him down, but he endures. The show must go on, right?

Busch himself is interviewed extensively for the film, and he's as entertaining out of drag as in it. A true film historian and a man of great charm, you get the feeling that a more perfect dinner party guest would be hard to find. Stars such as Rosie O'Donnell, Kathleen Turner, B.D. Wong, and Boy George stop by to sing his praises.

At the end, we're treated to scenes from the very moving evening when Busch attends the premiere of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, the first play he's penned that's made it to the Broadway stage. The weirdo from Avenue D has finally arrived.

Permtastic.



The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd April 2005

Distributed by: Two Lions Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: John Catania, Charles D. Ignacio

Producer: John Catania, Charles D. Ignacio

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.