Monday, August 11, 2008
Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium
The Thrillpeddlers have ditched their usual focus on Grand Guignol theatre, and have been presenting a double-bill of plays for the last couple of months by two masters of The Theatre of the Ridiculous, Charles Ludlam and Charles Busch. Ludlam died of AIDS in 1987 after essentially reinventing Camille as a sympathetic drag queen, and creating "The Mystery of Irma Vep." Busch wrote the off-Broadway "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" and Broadway's recent "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" but I still don't think he has has ever come up with a better title than "Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium."
The Thrillpeddlers have their own theater called The Hypnodrome which is on 10th Street near the Costco under the freeway, and it's a cultish marvel presided over by the incomparable Russell Blackwood (below right, click here for their website).
You have one more weekend to catch the production, which also includes Ludlam's erotic Marxist take on the "Jack and The Beanstalk" story. Then the troupe is packing their bags and going to New York to reprise the shows in September. May they knock 'em dead.