New play explores the fascinating life of 2-time Oscar nominee Elsa Lanchester in this one-woman show.
September 20, 2023 at The Theatre Innovation Square

Buy tickets HERE.

Charlotte Booker (ABC-TV’s Hi Honey, I’m Home and Born Yesterday on Broadway) explores the fascinating life of actress Elsa Lanchester in the New York premiere of the one-woman show ELSA LANCHESTER: SHE’S ALIVE!. Presented by Spin Cycle, it will run for one performance only: Wednesday, September 20 at 7:30pm at The Theatre at Innovation Square (131 Chestnut St Rochester NY 14604) as part of the Rochester Fringe Festival before opening Off-Broadway in October. Tickets are $22 each, available at www.RochesterFringe.com.

Elsa Lanchester, best known today as the actress who played the Bride of Frankenstein, was a twice-Oscar nominated star who went on to become a character actress in films like Mary Poppins and That Darn Cat! Off-screen, she was married to gay actor Charles Laughton. ELSA LANCHESTER: SHE’S ALIVE! recreates a bawdy cabaret/nightclub act that Lanchester toured with late in life -- including some of the original ribald songs she performed -- intermixed with backstage memories of her colorful life.

Written and performed by Charlotte Booker, ELSA LANCHESTER: SHE’S ALIVE! features Mark Nutter at the piano.

Charlotte Booker first fell in love with Elsa Lanchester as the iconic Bride of Frankenstein on Saturday afternoon TV—but didn’t realize that the same quirky actress, decades later, played Katie Nana in Mary Poppins, Aunt Queenie in Bell, Book, and Candle, the nosey Mrs. Macdougall in That Darn Cat! But when she read Miss Lanchester’s vivid autobiography and heard that unique singing style, she knew she had to play her somewhere, somehow.

Charlotte Booker understudied Madeline Kahn in the first Broadway revival of Born Yesterday and appeared off-Broadway in Take Me Back, Leave Me Green, Fugue, Five Genocides, Deathbed, Psycho Beach Party and, and B.i.t.c.h!, which she also wrote. A veteran of regional theatre, Charlotte originated roles in the world premieres of Quilters, Three Songs, Dusty and the Big Bad World, and an adaptation of Frankenstein (yes, as the bride). She has played leading roles at the Long Wharf, Williamstown, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, The Old Globe, The Alley, Baltimore Center Stage, and Denver Center, as well as the Papermill, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati Playhouses. Ms. Booker starred as Honey, the perfect 50’s sitcom wife, in the 90’s cult series Hi Honey, I’m Home on ABC-TV as part of its Friday night TGIF lineup. She also played Maggie Chambers in four seasons of Power, and guest-/co-starred on Bluebloods The Jim Gaffigan Show, Boardwalk Empire, Law and Order, Larry Sanders, Murphy Brown, Drew Carey, Newsradio, and Chicago Hope. Her play, The Bootheel, was a 2021 semi-finalist at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and the Garry Marshall New Works Project. A monologue from ELSA LANCHESTER: SHE’S ALIVE! won the 2022 Alvin Epstein Solo Performance Award’s Audience Favorite; the show was subsequently developed in 2022 at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.

Since its founding in 1998, Spin Cycle has co-produced shows by artists including Joan Rivers, Anthony Rapp, Gavin Creel, Holly Woodlawn, Laura Bell Bundy, and Alec Mapa. Other producing credits include Kiki & Herb’s Obie winning Jesus Wept, The Vaudevillians starring Jinkx Monsoon, Fruma-Sarah starring Jackie Hoffman, and the World Premiere of The Donkey Show. Current and recent theater PR clients include: 21 seasons with New York International Fringe Festival, 20 seasons with The Flea Theater (including premieres by A.R Gurney, Elizabeth Swados, Will Eno, Christopher Durang, Adam Rapp, Thomas Bradshaw and Mac Wellman) and 7 years with P.S. 122 (including premieres by Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo and Eric Bogosian), the immersive hit Then She Fell, and theater companies including The Civilians, Bedlam, SITI Company, Ars Nova, New Georges, Culture Project, the cell, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, and Theater Breaking Through Barriers. Past Rochester premieres include Alison Arngrim’s Confessions of A Prairie B.i.t.c.h, Woman Before A Glass (directed by Austin Pendleton) and Ginger Minj’s Truly Divine.

The 12-day Rochester Fringe Festival is the largest multidisciplinary performing arts event in New York State. Since the festival's inception in 2012, nearly 670,000 people have attended more than 4,500 performances by regional, national, and international artists, from emerging to superstar. From drama to dance, comedy to children’s entertainment, music to magic, and so much more, this internationally-known powerhouse encourages creative expression while nurturing the artistic process, all while supplying new audiences to established and emerging arts venues. The Rochester Fringe Festival strives to be diverse and inclusive, and to stimulate downtown Rochester both culturally and economically.