Busch and Turner Take on TheThird Story
BY Mike Diamond
February 18 2009 1:00 AM ET
"I make up stories;
it's what I do." This line comes out of the mouth of
Kathleen Turner as Peg, the middle-aged screenwriter she plays
in the new Charles Busch play
The Third Story
. The statement could have come from Busch himself, as the
playwright once again pays homage to classic guts-to-glory
is a mash-up of sci-fi B movies, mob flicks, and 1930s
screwball comedies, loosely influenced by everything from
to Grimm's fairy tales, with a hint of
All About Eve
bitchery for good measure.
The complicated plot
centers on Turner's Peg and her son Drew (played by the winsome
Jonathan Walker) as she tries to convince him to help her write
a screenplay. From there, it all gets very meta as the cast
enacts the scenes that the mother and son conjure up. Here's
where it gets tricky, as actors each portray multiple roles, in
various time periods and "realities." Turner does
double duty as Dr. Rutenspitz, while Walker morphs into sexy
gangster Steve Bartlett. Busch portrays mob diva Queenie
Bartlett, Bartlett's double, and witch/hag Baba Yaba. A
talented bunch rounds out the cast, including Scott Parkinson
as the freakish Zygote, Sarah Rafferty as gun moll Verna, and
Jennifer Van Dyck, who gives a hilarious turn as the frosty Dr.
Busch, author of many
Vampire Lesbians of Sodom
and the Tony Award-nominated
The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
, clearly relishes the glamorous Hollywood of yore, and while
paying homage to its constructs he lovingly adds a twisted spin
to it all.
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