Leading Lady: A Memoir of a Most Unusual Boy

Smart Pop. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781637744147. $27.95. MEMOIR
Busch, a prolific and award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and actor, has written an absolutely captivating memoir. A born raconteur, Busch spins enthralling tales into short, buoyant chapters. Occasionally the chronological storytelling is interrupted with flash-forward chapters, which sweep readers off to dine with Claudette Colbert, interview Liza Minnelli, ghostwrite for Joan Rivers, or run into Kim Novak at an event. After the death of his mother, the author was taken under the wing of his Aunt Lil who moved him into her Manhattan apartment and enrolled him in an arts high school. Later, Busch found his artistic voice by writing his own plays and casting himself as the lead woman. His play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom ran for five years and brought him acclaim; two other plays—Psycho Beach Party and Die, Mommie, Die!—were later adapted for the screen with Busch as their leading lady. He writes with great fondness about his Tony-nominated hit, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, and with honesty about his “miserable” experience working on the Broadway flop Taboo, produced by Rosie O’Donnell and starring Boy George.
VERDICT This joyful, upbeat, and witty memoir will likely capture the hearts of theater and movie buffs.
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