A spectacular Michael Taylor Gray and a pitch-perfectly cast understudy ensemble deliver a sextet of scintillating performances in Celebration Theatre’s hit production of Charles Busch’s Die, Mommie, Die!

As glamorous but now faded Hollywood star Angela Arden, Taylor Gray pays tribute to the elegance and panache of Angela originator Busch while adding his own distinctive flair, making Miss Arden every inch a woman and every ounce a star (at least in Angela’s own bouffant-coiffed head).

Supporting performances are equally spot-on.

Chloe Fineman turns red-headed Edie into a deliciously perky, pouty nymphet, from the abundance of kisses she bestows on Daddy Dearest to her claws-out hate-hate relationship with Mommie.

 Nathan Mohebbi makes Lance as exuberantly flamboyant as he is charismatically handsome, an obsessive-compulsive mess who’s pretty darned hard to resist.

Playing against leading man type as Sol, Marc Forget delivers the hard-edged Hollywood mogul goods, Brooklyn accent and all, his heart softening only where his Lolita of a daughter is concerned.

With his raven-haired matinee idol looks and comedic flair, Christopher Maikish mixes together Rock Hudson, John Gavin, and Tony Curtis to come up with one sexy heartbreaker of a Tony Parker.

As for Tamika Simpkins’ Bible-quoting, Reagan-loving Bootsie, think The Help’s Viola Davis had the recent Oscar winner played Aibileen for laughs and you’ll have some idea of how sass-sational she is.

Kudos to Allison Dillard  for a whole new set of fabulous 1960s costumes, and above all to assistant director Daniel Montgomery for replicating director Ryan Bergmann’s original vision, while adding his own original touches to this couldn’t-be-better Die, Mommie, Die! 2.0

–Steven Stanley
March 8, 2017