The power of siblings harmonizing is on glorious display in performances of the legendary cabaret act Sibling Revelry, which hadn’t been seen in New York in over 15 years. Verifiably legendary at that – it’s so broadly influential that two drag queens in Pennsylvania make it their schtick to perform the Callaway sisters’ entire act.
This is easily Ridiculous Theatre legend Charles Ludlam’s most-produced play, and the fantastic production at the Lucille Lortel Theatre richly demonstrates why. The Mystery of Irma Vep is an affectionate parody of horror stories and thrillers from Shakespeare to Alfred Hitchcock. From the secret crypts of Egypt, where mummies cast enthralling charms, to the murky moors of Mandacrest Mansion, where werewolves and vampires are constantly creeping around, this highly theatrical spoof, if done well – as it is here – is truly astonishing.
There’s much more to Aladdin than its often shirtless male chorus, although that certainly doesn’t hurt. Not that there’s anything incredibly substantial about it – this is brisk, lively, even jazzy musical comedy. And, as such, one of the more successful Disney screen-to-stage musical transfers.
Nellie McKay is a supreme stylist, with broad, substantial musical intelligence behind every single flourish. She combines heart-on-sleeve sincerity with supremely arch, dry wit; she’s utterly unique, her performance style multifarious and unpredictable, drawing ideas from extremely diverse eras and genres.
Charles Busch is definitely on a roll. While the hilarious Tribute Artist isn’t the non-stop laugh riot that The Divine Sister was, it’s not far behind it in terms of total laughs, and it’s arguably his best drawing-room comedy to date – and, yes, that means I’m saying it’s at least as good as his Broadway hit Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. I really enjoyed it!