FRIDAY

As sure a sign as any that the gulf separating fringe art and the American mainstream is evaporating, Charles Busch has both a play on Broadway (The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, a comedy in which the lead character, a woman, is played by a woman—Linda Lavin, no less) and a soon-to-be-released summer movie. Busch’s days as playwright-in-residence of Theatre-In-Limbo—where his Vampire Lesbians of Sodom ran for years—are behind him, it seems. As are his days as a leading lady. In the film version of his Psycho Beach Party (originally titled Gidget Goes Psychotic), Lauren Ambrose is the perky, schizophrenic (and possibly murderous) Chicklet, a role Busch himself performed on stage. But don’t worry, the provocateur is still doing drag in this naughty-but-nice sendup of Vertigo, Suddenly, Last Summer, and Beach Blanket Bingo (to name a few of Busch’s sources), playing Malibu Beach’s favorite “madam detective,” Monica Stark, who pursues a serial killer who murders only handicapped teenagers. Although some of the original play’s racier bits have been excised (gone, for instance, is the scene in which Chicklet’s mother beats her with a jockstrap), the film offers its own set of wicked pleasures. Not the least of which are a totally bitchen luau (complete with dance showdown and tiki torches), scenes from a movie-within-a-movie called The Pizza Waitress With Three Heads, and a romantic subplot involving two totally ripped Freddie Prinze Jr. wannabes. Get a sneak peek at Busch’s film at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 21, at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center’s Goldman Theater, 1529 16th St. NW. $8. (XXX) XXX-XXXX. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)