Die, Mommie, Die!

by  Charles Busch

Full Length Play, Melodrama  /  3m, 3f

Newly revised! This comic melodrama evokes the 1960's movie thrillers that featured such aging cinematic icons as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner and Susan Hayward. 

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Die, Mommie, Die!

by  Charles Busch

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller, Parody / Spoof
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

A comic melodrama that evokes the 1960’s "grande guignol" films that featured aging stars such as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner. Ex-pop singer, Angela Andrews, is trapped in a hateful marriage with film producer Sol Sussman. Desperate to find happiness with her younger lover, an out of work TV actor, Tony Parker, Angela murders her husband with the aid of a poisoned suppository. In a plot that reflects Greek tragedy as well as Hollywood kitsch, Angela’s Elektra-like daughter, Edith, convinces Angela’s emotionally disturbed son, Lance, that they must avenge their father’s death by killing their mother. Lance, demanding proof of Angela’s crime, slips some LSD into her after-dinner coffee. Angela is plunged into a wild acid trip that reveals that not only did she kill the children’s father but also their mother, for she isn’t their mother at all but rather their Aunt Barbara. A surprising twist ending has all of the Sussman family’s dirty laundry aired out for once and for all. Angela or rather Aunt Barbara realizes that happiness cannot be built upon a foundation of lies and turns herself in to the police.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

“Die Mommie Die!, which runs a peppy 90 minutes, is infused with the good-natured comic brio that has made Mr. Busch a drag artist whom middle America can embrace. Even theatergoers who don’t catch the copious old-movie quotations, verbal and physical, should enjoy Mr. Busch’s hair-trigger comic timing and rubbery mugging, which brings to mind vintage Lucille Ball." - The New York Times

"Thanks to Busch's script and exceptional leading perf, the surfaces of this comedy-thriller - about the murderous meltdown of the pre-Nixon Hollywood family - roll back to reveal provocative statements about the power women can lose when a man walks into the room." - Variety

Videos

  • Charles Busch on Die, Mommy, Die
  • Charles Busch sits down with Samuel French
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Drugs Drugs
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1960s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: 1967, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

3m, 3f
EDITH SUSSMAN
BOOTSIE CARP
TONY PARKER
ANGELA ARDEN
SOL SUSSMAN
LANCE SUSSMAN
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Cast Attributes

  • Drag performance
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

The role of Angela was originally played by the author Charles Busch. It is not necessary for this role to be played by a man in drag.

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Authors

Charles Busch

Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which ran five years and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. His play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway and won M ...

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Die, Mommy, Die! was first produced in July, 1999 by Kenneth Elliott and Don Fairbanks at the Coast Playhouse, Los Angeles. It opened Off-Broadway in October, 2007, at New World Stages in New York City, where it was directed by Carl Andress.

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