Anticipating great gusts and flooding, many Hamptonites chose the real-life drama of celebrity lives as read by celebrities over the real-life drama of storms at Guild Hall last Friday night. Matthew Broderick reading Tommy Lee's advice on what to do with a woman's "gummy bear" stole a show that also featured Mario Cantone revealing what Tallulah Bankhead did with a variety of cats and Joy Behar reading from Madonna's now out-of-print sex book.
The entire company, including Nathan Lane, Tovah Feldshuh, Scott Adsit, Dayle Reyfel, and Celebrity Autobiography creator Eugene Pack chimed in on that ultra Hollywood scandal, the Liz Taylor-Debbie Reynolds-Eddie Fisher-Richard Burton story as told through the prism of several tell-alls. Lane was suave as Mike Todd, Behar nasal as a hotel operator, with Feldshuh as a most glamorous Liz. And I thought I heard it all in Carrie Fisher's one-woman Wishful Drinking!
Can Charles Busch be anything but funny? His play, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, shows he can also be wise. In a charming barn at Mulford Farm dressed as a city apartment, this production starts and ends with Marjorie (Kate Mueth who also directs) and her Upper West Side building's doorman (Joe De Sane). The bathrobe-clad drama queen is in a funk, prone on the couch with a mysterious bandage around her wrist, mourning the death of her therapist. At the end she is dressed and made up, good to go, explaining the creation of a perfect béarnaise: like life, she says, it is simple and difficult.
What happens in between involves husband Ira (Mueth's real life husband and wonderful character actor Josh Gladstone), and her mother (Lydia Franco Hodges) out of central casting complete with Yiddishisms and updates on her bowel movements. "Call Dr. Kevorkian," she cries with conviction. You know what era this is because the venerable assisted suicide man is in prison, not yet played to perfection by Al Pacino for HBO, or dead. Into the mix comes Lee (Licia James Zegar) a worldly childhood chum who incites a ménage a trois and other provocations that lead to Marjorie's transformation.
Warning to East Hampton's vast community of shrinks: This hilarious take on middle class pretensions may threaten business. See The East Hampton Historical Society for show times.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.