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The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch
The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch
Actors: Charles Busch, Eric Myers, Elizabeth Busch-LeNe, Margaret Busch, Carl Andress
Directors: Charles D. Ignacio, John Catania
Genres: Comedy, Educational, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 30min

Tender and upbeat, THE LADY IN QUESTION IS CHARLES BUSCH is the affectionate and entertaining tribute to actor, writer, drag performer, and glamorous leading lady Charles Busch. From a tragic, lonely childhood lived throug...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Charles Busch, Eric Myers, Elizabeth Busch-LeNe, Margaret Busch, Carl Andress
Directors: Charles D. Ignacio, John Catania
Creators: Charles D. Ignacio, John Catania, Craig Hagelin, Daryl Roth, David Hunt
Genres: Comedy, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Educational, Gay & Lesbian, Music & Performing Arts
Studio: Docurama
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/26/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Fascinating, yet left me wanting more
Brett Heitkam | Lena, IL United States | 11/09/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary about the drag legend Charles Busch is a very interesting look at the life of this very entertaining performer. It traces Busch's life from childhood, through his humble beginnings doing raw theater, through the present, in which he has done movies and had more mainstream Broadway ventures.

I have adored Charles Busch and his work since I stumbled across his 2000 film Psycho Beach Party. Since then, I have seen his work on the acclaimed HBO drama Oz as well as his most recent film, Die Mommie Die. Busch is a fascinating persona, larger than life, yet very real and easily understood.

One of the things that surprised me was the fact that this documentary was made at least 2 or 3 years ago, but is just being released now. Therefore, there is nothing very recent mentioned as far as new projects Busch is working on. Also, the clips of his early 1980s stage plays were wonderful, but I really wanted to see more of this rare footage. They do not spend nearly enough time on these aspects of his career. The 90 minute running time of the documentary seems to skip over things it shouldn't and linger on things that aren't as interesting. But overall, it's definitely something I'm glad I have added to my Charles Busch collection.

The extra features include a short black and white film done specifically for the documentary. I was very excited to see this listed on the back of the case, but I was disappointed when viewing it as it is a silent film, made is the style of the 1920s and Mr. Busch is not as captivating when you can't hear his performance. There are also more snippets of his early plays, but not nearly enough of them.

Docurama has done a fine job with this DVD presentation, but it is not the outstanding work I was hoping for."
A Documentary of Merit
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 03/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Lady in Question is Charles Busch"

A Documentary of Merit

Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

Charles Busch is one of the most prolific, talented and outrageous New York artists of recent times. He is a playwright, an actor, a novelist, a drag performer and a leading lady "The Lady in Question is Charles Busch" is a stunning look at him. He came into the life of New York in 1984 as a new artist in East Greenwich Village with his cross dressing classic, "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" which even though it was filled with sex, became a theatre classic. It ran for five years and become listed as one of the longest running shows in off-Broadway history. His other forays into performance art. "Theatre-in-Limbo" were produced at the dirty but inspired Limbo Lounge and were made of fascinating groups of all kinds of people.
"The Lady in Question..." begins in 2000 at the opening night of Busch's first hit on Broadway, "The Allergist's Wife" with a stellar cast. From there we go backwards and through interviews and film clips, we get an inside view of Mr. Busch and learn of his traumatic childhood. It was his interest in Hollywood and his "Auntie Mame" like aunt that saved him from going astray. He became a writer and was willing to go anywhere and do anything.
His parodies of Hollywood films he showed the world his talent and began to appear ala Tracey Ullman. Directors John Catania and Charles Ignatio have given us a beautiful look at one of America's most versatile performers.
Watching the movie is like opening a chest full of treasures as we sit and watch a thorough account of Charles Busch's life. We are privy to his early successes with "Vampire Lesbians" and "Psycho Beach Party" as well as the play that gives the documentary its name, "The Lady in Question". Busch also made the transition to film with the movie version of "Psycho Beach Party" and "Die, Mommy, Die!" We also learn that he almost died form a congenital heart condition.
Busch is living proof that all the great movie stars are not gone--they live in the impersonations of Busch. He is a one-man reincarnation of the great ladies of the stage and screen. The documentary is affectionate and beautifully edited. Busch is more than just the run-of-the-mill gender bender. He is a genius who in his heyday was the master of camp and pastiche who brought back historical pageants, anti-Nazi melodramas and beach movies of the `60s. This is a priceless look at a man who0 is able to do anything...and does.

"I've always felt such an affinity for eleventh-century Engl
Jay Dickson | Portland, OR | 02/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For anyone who loves Charles Busch (and I do), this documentary about his life and work is absolutely required viewing, especially since as extras it includes some videotaped excerpts from his plays, including VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM, PSYCHO BEACH PARTY, THE LADY IN QUESTION and RED SCARE ON SUNSET (from which I draw my title). The documentary might be a bit puzzling to someone who had not seen the films made from Busch's PSYCHO BEACH PARTY or DIE, MOMMIE, DIE!, given that there are perhaps not enough clips of Busch performing; and the documentary makers use an artificial dramatic arc climaxing with the sudden surgery that Busch had to undergo for a ripped aorta that feels a bit heavy-handed as presented here. (Certainly Busch's life was in serious jeopardy at the time, but he did come through it with flying colors.) yet why quibble, given that over an hour spent in the company of the gifted, funny, and always gracious Charles Busch is like an invitation to heaven? And the film also gives terrific background material about his lonely childhood, his wonderful Aunt Lillian who changed his life, and the many close friends and colleagues who worked with him at theatre-in-Limbo (including Kenneth Elliott, Judy Halston and Andy Halliday, all of whom are interviewed for this documentary, and Meghan Robinson and Robert Carey, both of whom sadly died not long after the opening of THE LADY IN QUESTION). There's also a new silent film short starring Busch, HER ROYAL ESCAPE TO LOVE, shot largely at Belvedere Castle in Central Park, that's intercut with the footage here and also stands on its own as an extra. if you're a fan of Busch, you won't be able to resist; if you're not, you need to see PSYCHO BEACH PARTY so you can become one, and THEN see this documentary."
Douglas Keith McEwan | Reseda, California United States | 01/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Charles Busch is a comic genius. This wonderful documentary well serves it's briliant subject. Best of all there are rare clips from the original productions of his plays. The extras include MORE clips from the plays, as well as a wonderful short film. This is the nextbest thing to hanging out with Charles Busch himself."