Queen Amarantha | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Queen Amarantha The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 28 2015

In 1997, actor-playwright Charles Busch, known for his campy comic female impersonations, wrote and starred in this swashbuckling story about a cross-dressing queen who, posing as a man, feverishly runs from both her kingdom and her (female) sexuality. In an interview, Busch said he wrote the play straight—as it were—and intended it as more a pointed examination of gender than a vehicle for cheap drag humor. He added that he thinks casting a woman in the role could potentially be even more effective. Well, this production from science fiction and fantasy specialists Otherworld Theatre gives us Moira Begale as Amarantha, who does fine, but I’d argue Busch’s layered writing just begs for a man dressed as a woman dressed as a man. Stay with me here. In addition to real insight about the sexes, the play has plenty of great one-liners and tongue-in-cheek moments, many of which get lost with a female Amarantha. In this case at least, a male queen wouldn’t be such a drag. Chloe Riley

Price: $20


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