Red Scare on Sunset

Charles Busch’s raucous political farce takes place during the 1950s, when paranoia over the “Commie menace” was bearing down on American society. Screen star Mary Dale (a scintillatingly funny Drew Droege) and husband Frank Taggart (Groundlings alum Chris Tarantino), are a seemingly happy Hollywood couple with a nice house and a saucy, gay houseboy (Dane Whitlock). But dark clouds gather over their abode when Frank falls for sultry Marta (Sonya Tatoyan), who talks him into joining her acting class — which is really a front for the Communist Party. Frank soon falls under their fiendish influence and is coerced into doing an unspeakable act. Adding to poor Mary’s dilemma is the plight of her patriotic best friend, Pat Tilford (Michele Begley), who is also the host of a popular radio show. Unfortunately, the Reds have some goods on her in a blackmail scheme involving some nasty pictures she posed for. Thrown into the mayhem are outrageous plot twists, chicanery and a finale that careens over the top. The writing is sharp and clever, and director Cindy Gendrich modulates campiness and physical comedy with impressive ease.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Sept. 12. Continues through Oct. 18, 2008


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