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CHARLES BUSCH:  THE LADY AT THE MIC – Costa Mesa:  It’s hard to know which job title to assign to Charles Busch first; playwright, actor, director, comedian, raconteur or drag queen?  Now you can add cabaret singer to the list!  Along with his musical director, Tom Judson, Mr. Busch will appear live for three performances this month at OC’s Segerstrom Center, and you should fight for tickets.  Through song and personal reminiscences, he will channel Elaine Stritch, Polly Bergen, Mary Cleere Haran, Julie Wilson, and Joan Rivers, all ladies he has worked with.  His wit and storytelling are legendary, and his vocals have gotten very good reviews.  Busch is a legend and a gay icon.  Long before Ru and her drag racers were streaming on Logo, Busch was breaking records and barriers Off-Broadway by starring as the leading lady in comedies he wrote such as Die Mommy Die (currently at Celebration Theatre), Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and Psycho Beach Party.  He appears in bouffant red wig and gown March 9 – 11 at Segerstrom’s intimate Samueli Theatre (SCFTA.org). See the exclusive interview with GED Magazine at GEDmag.com.

absinthe-liveABSINTHE – Los Angeles:  One of my favorite Vegas shows is coming to L.A. Live for a limited run.  Inspired by the absinthe-drenched cabarets of late 19th Century Europe, Absinthe is an adult-themed cocktail of circus, comedy, burlesque, and vaudeville.  The show is presented in a relatively small tent with about a dozen concentric rings of chairs surrounding a 9’-diameter round stage. Every seat offers an intimate view.  With some of the acrobatic and balancing acts that add an extra layer of terror – if they fall, will they hit me?  However, the men are mostly shirtless and hot, hot, hot.  And since none of them seem to be wearing underwear, there’s a lot of flipping and flopping going on besides the acrobatics.  Hosted by a loud- and foul-mouthed dirt bag called The Gazillionaire, insults and f-bombs are hurled at the audience with machinegun rapidity.  He and his assistant return between the circus-type acts, offering some much-needed relief from the tension of the death defying acts, and the audiences whoop with delight at their vulgarity and political incorrectness.  Absinthe opens March 22 for a limited engagement in the Spiegelworld Tent at L. A. Live’s Event Deck (AbsintheLA.com).

 

CRUISETHE CRUISE – Los Angeles:  The Latino Theatre Company kicks off its 2017 season with a socio-political comedy set aboard a luxury cruise ship, sailing its way through the Caribbean.  Questions of identity – both racial and sexual – are viewed differently through the eyes of a father and son, both passengers on the ship.  Other guests carry their own social and political agendas, but certainly the most fun character is the flamboyant cruise director.  Playwright Jonathan Ceniceroz is known for work that expresses an unapologetic view of contemporary gay life, reflecting on its own otherness and exclusion as well as its inherent warmth and humanity.  He also stands out as a unique voice in the field of Latino writers because many of his themes investigate the point of view of the “pocho,” or assimilated Latino in U.S. culture.  At its core, the play is human, emotional, true – and very, very funny!  Presented March 16 – April 9 by The Latino Theatre Company at The Los Angeles Theatre Center (thelatc.org/).

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