By Stephen Sorokoff, Times Square Chronicles
Primary Stages celebrated it’s 35th anniversary this season by presenting the newest work The Confession of Lily Dare from one of it’s most frequent collaborators, the legendary master of theatrical parody Charles Busch. Who better to join us to see one of Mr. Busch’s collaborators Julie Halston in her one night only show at Birdland than Andrew Leynse the artistic director of Primary Stages and Jamie deRoy who along with Ted Snowdon are associated with the production. Rounding out our table was Michele Lee who won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in Mr. Busch’s Tony Nominated play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.
Julie Halston is one of New York’s busiest actresses. Well-known to theatre audiences, she most recently played the quick-witted producer Rita Marshall in Tootsie. She was recently nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her critically acclaimed performance in You Can’t Take it With You. She was also singled out for her performance in Charles Busch’s The Tribute Artist, and for her performance as Mother in the Kennedy Center production of The Guardsman. She has appeared in many Broadway and off-Broadway productions including Anything Goes, Hairspray, Gypsy, The Twentieth Century, (Outer Critics Circle Nomination), The Divine Sister (Drama Desk Nomination), Love Loss and What I Wore, and numerous others . Miss Halston was a founding member of Mr. Busch’s now legendary theatre company, Theatre- in-Limbo and has co-starred with him in over ten productions including Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset (Drama Desk Nomination, Shanghai Moon and Olive and The Bitter Herbs.
In addition to theatre, Julie Halston is known to television audiences as Bitsy Von Muffling from the smash hit “Sex and The City,” Tina Carmello from “The Class” and to younger audience members as Antigone Carruthers from “The Electric Company”. Although primarily an actress, Miss Halston has won awards for the solo comedy pieces which she has performed all over the US including Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Her SRO solo show was extended five times at NY’s famed Birdland Jazz Club. CBS developed a TV pilot based on her one-woman show, “Julie Halston’s Lifetime of Comedy,” which she wrote and starred in for over six months off-Broadway. She received an Outer Critics Circle Nomination for her writing. Along with co-author, Donna Daley, she wrote the critically acclaimed book, “Monologues for Show-Offs,” published by Heinemann Press. It is currently being used by many casting directors, acting teachers and universities as an important resource for actors and is now being developed as a dramatic piece. Her essay, “The Greatest Thing I Never Did” was chosen to appear in the book, “No Kidding,” featuring some of America’s funniest women writers. Miss Halston was the recipient of the 2013 Nightlife Award for Outstanding Comedy Performer.