Center Stage Playhouse Starts Its New Season with Lots of Laughs

On Saturday night, my wife and I went to see Center Stage Playhouse's first show of the season, the outrageous comedy Die, Mommie, Die!

From the brilliant set design by Jason Bolen to the over-the-top direction by Shani Colleen Murfin (who also directed last season's successful musical A New Brain), the production was definitely a crowd pleaser.  The cast was superb: Al Dobyns as Sol, the patriarch of the dysfunctional Sussman family, Tamara Forward as his beautiful and overly affectionate daughter Edith; Joe Fanelli as his flambouyant and troubled son Lance; Lucy Apicello as Bootsie the Maid; John Maghalaes as lothario Tony Parker; and Willie Halley as the outrageous Angela Arden.

Here's the plot description from Center Stage's Web site: Charles Busch's zany parody Die, Mommie, Die! is a comic melodrama that evokes the 1960's movie thrillers which featured such aging cinematic icons as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, and Susan Hayward.  Faded pop singer, Angela Arden, is trapped in a corrosive marriage to film producer, Sol Sussman. In her attempt to find happiness with her younger lover, an out of work TV star, Angela murders her husband with the aid of a poisoned suppository. In a plot that reflects both Greek tragedy as well as Hollywood folklore, Angela's resentful daughter, Edith, convinces Angela's emotionally disturbed son, Lance, to avenge their father's death by killing their mother. Lance, demanding proof of Angela's crime, slips some LSD into her after-dinner coffee, triggering a wild acid trip that exposes all of Angela's dark secrets.

It's a wacky and entertaining start to the season.  The production concludes this weekend.  To purchase tickets, click here.