Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company: Critical Analyses of 29 Plays
In the late 1960s, Charles Ludlam (1943-1987) first brought his unique brand of theatre to New York audiences. Based in part on traditional comic characters, his ridiculous school included such inspirations as Hollywood B movies, camp, drag, opera and theatrical artifice. His shows were also a study in self-collaboration; Ludlam performed simultaneous roles as playwright, director, designer, and actor in his own Off Broadway theatre--the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.
Critically, Ludlam's works were often overlooked or misunderstood, and since his death The Mystery of Irma Vep is the only one of his 29 plays that is consistently performed in regional theatres. His work was very visually oriented; much is lost in the simple reading of them. This work provides an overview of Ludlam's life and the roots of the ridiculous. It explores the theatrical underpinnings of his work and then the whole Ludlam canon. The work includes detailed examinations of such plays as Le Bourgeois Avant-Garde, Bluebeard, Galas and Stage Blood. It concludes with a look at Ludlam's work in the 1980s when he redirected his efforts towards presenting new plays, many of them original farces.
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Charles Ludlam in the Beginning
Roots of Ridiculosity
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acting actor aesthetic Aristophanes Armand artifice Artificial Jungle artistic atrical audience avant-garde Babuscio began Big Hotel Bluebeard Bourgeois Avant-Garde burlesque Camille camp character Charles Ludlam Chester CHOREOGRAPHER Clive Barnes comedy comic commedia Complete Plays costume CRAMWELL create critic culture DRAGO drama dress Everett Quinton farce feminine film Foufas Frank Rich Galas gay community gender genre Hack Hamlet heterosexual homosexual Ibid interview Irma Vep Jane Khanazar Lady Enid lam's laugh Lord Edgar Ludlam's plays male Marguerite Maria Callas Maria Montez Mel Gussow Mercanteggini Michael Feingold Moliere Montez movement movie Mystery of Irma nature Nicodemus opera parody Performing Arts Journal PEV AMRI playwright plot recycling ridiculosity Ridiculous Theatrical Company Ring Gott Farblonjet role Ronald Tavel ROXANNE Salammbo satire scene script sensibility sexual social society Stage Blood Steven Samuels story style takes Tavel theatre Tomkins Vaccaro vaudeville Village Voice Warhol woman write wrote York ZACHARY Zack