Friday, October 12, 2007

REVIEW: Van Hansis in "Die Mommie Die!"

AS THE WORLD TURNS Emmy nominee Van Hansis debuted in the role of Lance Sussman in "Die Mommie Die!" Wednesday night at New World Stages Off-Broadway. Hansis will be doing double duty until the play completes its run in February.

"Die Mommie Die!," now at New World Stages, features fading chanteuse Angela Arden (writer and star Charles Busch). The plot -- which pulls in Angela's late twin, Barbara -- follows Angela's dealings with her family and struggles to accept her fate as a has been. Busch, who knows more than he often lets on in his campy personae, wants "Die Mommie Die!" to be more than a movie send-up. The subtitle he puts on script -- "The Fall of the House of Sussman"-- indicates he sees histrionic Angela playing Clytemnestra to Sol's Agamemnon on post-Atreus turf. Perhaps with this blending of fourth-century Greek tragedy and mid-century celluloid melodrama, he's tackled more than he can bring to ground.

It's a very interesting role for Hansis, as he plays Angela's son, who has been kicked out of college for having sex with a male professor. Hansis has many shining moments in the play with Busch, Ashley Morris (who plays his sister) and Chris Hoch (who plays the well-endowed Tony Parker).

If you absolutely hate camp, this may not be the show for you, but I would recommend giving it a chance. It truly is hilarious and I was laughing throughout.


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