Showbill: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom


Showbill: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

Charles Busch

Provincetown Playhouse, June 1985.

Showbill, 215 x 143 mm, 30 pp in very good condition.


A play that the New York Times described as an amalgam of “sinister innocence” and “harmless depravity,” with “costumes flashier than pinball machines,” the Vampire Lesbians of Sodom follows two immortal lesbians—The Succubus and La Condesa—romping across centuries: from surviving the destruction of Sodom, to passing as silent film stars in Golden Age Hollywood, culminating with performances as showgirls in “Las Vegas Today.” Its author, drag queen and femme fatale Charles Busch (b. 1954), makes a cameo in the beginning as a virgin sacrifice. At the time the play was written Busch’s career in drag was on the wane—he describes the early 80’s as a time of taking on odd jobs from cleaner to ice cream server. But when it was first performed in 1984 at the Limbo Lounge it became a hit and made room for Busch to pen and perform a series of other shows including Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium, and Psycho Beach Party, and the short play that this particular performance was paired with, Sleeping Beauty, or Coma

This showbill follows from the success of the Limbo Lounge performance, kicking off what would become the play’s five-year run at the Provincetown Playhouse, amounting to over 2,000 performances and ranking as one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. In 1993, Busch found time to turn the play into a novel, Whores of Lost Atlantis, amidst a glorious performance career that would only continue to pick up momentum with performance the same year in a revival of Genet’s The Maids, then You Should Be So Lucky (1994), a one-man show Flipping My Wig (1996). By 1999 Busch had written and appeared in both the play and the film Die, Mommie, Die! and by 2000 made it to broadway as a playwright with The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. This showbill is a wonderful testament to both the beginning of a true diva’s ascent into queer stardom from the theatres of the West Village, and a high camp production that has since been adapted into a musical, to critical acclaim.


Bruckner, D. J. R. "Stage: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom", The New York Times, June 20, 1985. 

Brooke Palmieri