The Concord Theatricals Read More Plays Club focuses on recognizing select Concord Theatricals plays as important works of literature, uniting theatre lovers and creating a digital space dedicated to celebrating great artists, good conversation and plays on the page.
Each club session features a fantastic Concord Theatricals title and artists connected to the work in an hour-long candid discussion around the creation and history of the play. Readers have a chance to engage with the artist and learn more about their motivations, their creative process, and the work itself.
For our sixth session, on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, we read and discussed…
Played against the gaudy tapestry of turn-of-the-century California’s notorious Barbary Coast, The Confession of Lily Dare tells the story of one woman’s tumultuous passage from convent girl to glittering cabaret chanteuse to infamous madame of a string of brothels.
Behind Lily’s every move lies her greatest secret: her undying devotion to the child she was forced to abandon. The Confession of Lily Dare is the latest comic melodrama written by the legendary master of theatrical parody, Charles Busch (Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Die Mommie Die!, The Divine Sister). The play celebrates the gauzy “confession film” tearjerkers of early 1930s pre-code cinema, such as The Sin of Madelon Claudet, Frisco Jenny and Madame X.
Here are some great resources to check out before viewing the discussion!
Background on Hollywood Pre-Code Cinema
The Sin of Madelon Claudet starring Helen Hayes (1931)
Frisco Jenny starring Ruth Chatterton (1932)
The Secret of Madame Blanche starring Irene Dunne (1933)
Stella Dallas starring Barbara Stanwyck (1937)
Madame X starring Gladys George (1937)
Madame X starring Lana Turner (1966)
Watch the full session below!
Charles Busch (Playwright) is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, The Confession of Lily Dare and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, one of the longest-running plays in the history of off-Broadway. His play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife received a Tony nomination for Best Play and is the longest-running Broadway comedy of the past 25 years. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays Psycho Beach Party and Die Mommie Die!, the latter of which won him the Best Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Mr. Busch has been honored with a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright and received the Flora Roberts Award for Sustained Achievement in the theater by the Dramatist’s Guild. He is the subject of the documentary film The Lady in Question is Charles Busch.
Amy Rose Marsh (Moderator, Vice President, Acquisitions and Artistic Development, North America) began her theatrical licensing career with Samuel French as a literary intern in 2007 and has spent the last 13 years with Samuel French, now under the umbrella of Concord. During her time at Samuel French, she has been responsible for bringing more than 600 new plays and musicals into print, including new works by Sarah Ruhl, Dave Malloy, Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, Agatha Christie, Will Eno, Thornton Wilder, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, and Suzan-Lori Parks, among others. She is a passionate advocate for diversity in the theatre and believes strongly in the power of art to impact the world for the better. She currently sits on the board of Theater Masters and is a proud ambassador for the National New Play Network.
For more information about the Read More Plays Club, click here.