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BELL, BOOK & CANDLE
Old rivalries, new crushes and crossed wires all come to a boil — when a nice, single witch finds her cauldron (and love life) bubbling with trouble. Bond Street’s Gene Frankel Theatre is a fitting location for “Bell, Book & Candle” — the 1950s romantic comedy set in Greenwich Village. Kate Middleton and Brett Bolton star in this Ground UP Productions revival, which finds mostly good-intentioned witch Gillian thrown for a loop when her publisher neighbor gets serious with (of all people!) her college nemesis. Casting a spell will make Shep fall in love with her — although doing so means she’ll lose her powers. True love triumphs, of course, but only after a series of misunderstandings, betrayals and revelations (involving, among other things, an agitated cat and Gillian’s scheming brother).
Through Oct. 26, at the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond St., btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Performances are Wed.-Sat. at 7pm, Mon. at 7pm and Sat./Sun. at 2pm. For tickets ($25, $18 for students/seniors), call 800-838-3006 or visit groundupproduductions.org.
CHARLES BUSCH: RIDIN’ HIGH
The Lady in Question has declared her upcoming run at 54 Below to be a boa-free zone. Otherwise, anything goes — including we’re assured, “laughter, music, tears and sequins.” That, filtered through the sassy lips and ample pipes of Tony-nominated play wright and drag legend Charles Busch, makes “Ridin’ High” a must-see for lovers of tall tales, tough gals and tunes from the American Songbook.
Armed with more zingers than a chorus boy can shake his stick at, Busch will dish on certain actresses he’s known and tell anecdotes about his long career. He’ll also be doing a parody of 1940s film noirs and a new monologue for Miriam Passman — the inspiration for his Broadway play, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” Songs from the camp icon, whose approach is far more affectionate than ironic, include an Irving Berlin number, a Sinatra classic and a few choices likely inspired by recent time spent taking his act on the road (“Route 66,” “Kansas City”). Accompanist Tom Judson, who toured with Busch, tickles the ivories.
“Ridin’ High” happens Thurs., Oct. 17, 24 & Nov. 7, 14. At 54 Below (254 W. 54th St., btw. Broadway & Eighth Ave.). Doors open at 8:45pm, show at 9:30pm. Cover Charge: $35-45. Food/Beverage minimum: $25. Tickets on the day of performance, after 4pm, available only by calling 646-476-3551. For reservations, visit 54below.com. Also visit charlesbusch.com.