Recent directing credits include: Charles Busch's The Confession of Lily Dare (Theater for the New City, The Cherry Lane Theater with Primary Stages 2020); Carmen Pelaez's FAKE (Colony Theater with Miami New Drama); Tim Pinckney's Still at Risk (Theater for the New City); Matthew Lombardo's critically acclaimed comedy Who's Holiday! starring Lesli Margherita (Westside Theater, Drama Desk nomination Outstanding Solo Performance, Lortel nomination Outstanding Solo Show, Off-Broadway Alliance nomination Best Solo Performance); the world premiere of the hit off-Broadway comedy The Tribute Artist (Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters), The Divine Sister (Soho Playhouse, named in NY Times as “Top 10 of 2010”); the New York concert premiere of Kander, Ebb and McNally's The Visit starring Chita Rivera and John Cullum, choreographed by Ann Reinking (Ambassador Theater); Charles Busch's Cleopatra (Theater for the New City); Judith of Bethulia (Theater for the New City); Die, Mommie, Die! (New World Stages); The Third Story (La Jolla Playhouse and MCC Theater starring Kathleen Turner); Shanghai Moon (Drama Dept., starring B.D. Wong; Theater for the New City; and Bay Street Theater); and the new children’s musical Bunnicula for TheaterWorks USA and DR2 Kids Theater. Upcoming: Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet (Dorset Theatre Festival); New York Premiere of Romance Language by Joe Godfrey (Ars Nova).
Carl staged the New York premieres of Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposoʼs musical, A Wonderful Life (Shubert Theater; named “Top 10 of Theater,” TIME Magazine), and Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol starring Douglas Sills; a musical extravaganza Charles Busch and Julie Halston: Together on Broadway – featuring the 20th Anniversary Performance of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (Music Box Theater), Die, Mommie, Die! (Hudson Theater), Nothing Like a Dame: A Party for Comden & Green and an all-star staged reading of Valley of the Dolls featuring Martha Plimpton, Heidi Blickestaff and Nancy Anderson for the Actors Fund on Broadway.
Other directing credits include: Tenderloin, Harold & Maude, I Love My Wife and The Mad Show (York Theater Company – Musicals in Mufti); Here's to the Girls! and Carried Away: Being Comden & Green (92nd St. Y – Lyrics & Lyricists); Douglas Carter Beaneʼs The Cartells (Drama Dept.); Crush the Infamous Thing (Coconut Grove Playhouse); and critically acclaimed regional productions of The Tale of the Allergistʼs Wife (Coconut Grove Playhouse; Paper Mill Playhouse; Royal Poinciana Playhouse). Various special events include: the annual Broadway Belts for PFF for teh Pulmonary Fibrosis FOundation, Broadway for Medicine an all-star concert benefitting the NFFR (NY City Center); TRUE COLORS: Lincoln Center Salutes Gay Pride (Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center); Literacy Partners Annual Gala (NY State Theater, 2007-present; The Nightlife Awards and Broadway Unplugged (Town Hall); and institutional galas for Second Stage Theater, Primary Stages, the Vineyard Theater, Abingdon Theater, FIPAP and Coyote Stageworks in Palm Springs.
Additional directing credits include: Isabel Roseʼs J.A.P. Chronicles – The Musical (Perry Street Theater); Carmen Pelaezʼs Rum & Coke (FringeNYC 2006, Abingdon Theater Company); Julie Goldmanʼs Third Party (The Culture Project); and John Kuntzʼs award-winning solo show, STARF*#@%ERS (Ohio Theater). Carl has also staged acclaimed benefit performances of Bell, Book & Candle for Drama Dept.; The Women; Hedda & Nora: An Afternoon of Ibsen; The Lady In Question and the annual Times Square Angel (1999-present) at Theater for the New City. Carl debuted Off-Broadway directing and co-starring in Queen Amarantha (WPA Theatre) and appeared in the world premiere of Die, Mommie, Die! in Los Angeles (Coast Playhouse).
Carl wrote, performed and directed It's Not My Fault, It Was On Fire When I Got There which received a Jerome Foundation Emerging Playwright Award and premiered at Theater for the New City, later playing the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre and subsequently presented as part of the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival. Carl is also the author of My Buddy and Anyone for Double Dutch? The latter created for L.A.'s Fringe Benefits touring production, Cootie Shots - Inoculations Against Bigotry, a nationally recognized outreach program aimed at inner-city youth, and published by Theater Communications Group (TCG).
On film, Carl co-starred with Kathie Lee Gifford in the Telly Award–winning Personal Assistant for Showtime, and is the associate director, co-writer and costar of the independent feature, A Very Serious Person, which received an Honorable Mention for Best NY Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. Carl is also co-writer and co-director of the comedy feature film, The Sixth Reel, which premiered at OutFest Los Angeles in August 2021 (Winner! U.S. Narrative Feature - Ensemble Performance) and will be distributed by Wolfe Releasing.
Carl is a, summa cum laude graduate of the University of New Hampshire's Department of Theatre and Dance and a proud member of SDC.
Critical acclaim for Director Carl Andress
“THE TRIBUTE ARTIST”
“Charles Busch’s delightful and slyly insightful new comedy — about a man who impersonates his dead landlady for mercenary reasons — is directed with affable ease by Carl Andress. Co-starring the invaluable Julie Halston, Mr. Busch’s longtime aide-de-camp in theater, the show subversively blurs lines between fact and fiction, male and female and, most daringly, what we think of as moral and immoral behavior. The greatest pleasure of The Tribute Artist is watching Ms. Halston and Mr. Busch trading barbs so fluently, aggressively and affectionately….two top comic artists, in perfect harmonic disharmony.”
— Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Under the expert direction by longtime Busch collaborator Carl Andress, the ensemble shines!”
— Frank Scheck, New York Post
“Fun and kooky…The Tribute Artist by Charles Busch leaves you laughing and a little exhausted!”
— Joe Dziemianowicz, The NY Daily News
“Wonderfully entertaining… A real-estate fraud with farce and zingy one-liners. The wackier it gets, thanks to a wonderful cast and director Carl Andress, the better it is.”
— Fern Siegel, The Huffington Post
“IT’S A HOOT! …If you need a good laugh (and these days, who doesn’t?) you can always count on Charles Busch…this loveable lunatic still provides a menu of laughs…It’s a barrel of fun to watch Julie Halston swagger about.”
— Rex Reed, The Huffington Post
"THE DIVINE SISTER”
“Paradise awaits you just south of Houston Street where Charles Busch is evidently receiving blessed counsel from God himself with THE DIVINE SISTER, his gleefully twisted tale of the secret lives of nuns that is his freshest, funniest work in years, perhaps decades. Busch’s machine-gun dialogue is directed at an exhilarating tempo by Carl Andress and features cheerfully wicked performances. Alison Fraser is priceless as a recent transplant from Berlin and Julie Halston is delivering a comic master class as Sister Acacius. Jennifer Van Dyck is impeccable, Jonathan Walker is terrific, and Amy Rutberg is delightful as the fresh-faced postulant. The production features cheerfully wicked sets by B. T. Whitehill and costumes by Fabio Toblini.”
— Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Top 10 of New York Theater in 2010.”
— Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
“Helmer Carl Andress runs a tight ship, carefully maintaining the balance between high comedy ingenious plot and character parody, on the one hand, and lowdown comedy on the other.”
— Marilyn Stasio, Variety
“That this production has been directed by Busch’s longtime collaborator Carl Andress all but ensures this is not your ordinary entry in the genre.”
— Matthew Murray, Talkinbroadway.com
“Anyone hoping to keep a straight face in Charles Busch’s hysterical THE DIVINE SISTER hasn’t got a prayer. The laughter is non-stop. The impeccable Charles Busch doesn’t miss a beat as Mother Superior and he is blessed with a brilliant company of some of the most talented actors on any New York stage right now. Julie Halston is hilarious and the wonderful Alison Fraser is oh so divine. Under Carl Andress’ spunky direction, there’s so much humor packed into the 90 minute DIVINE SISTER, its comic heaven.”
— Roma Torre, NY1
“A divine comedy that is a kooky habit-forming romp. Expert comediennes Alison Fraser, Amy Rutberg and Jennifer Van Dyck look like they’re having a ball under Carl Andress’ zippy direction while Jonathan Walker plays the manly man with tongue firmly planted in cheek.”
— Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post
“THE DIVINE SISTER provides about as much fun as you can have in a theater. When they talk about a laugh riot, this is it. One of Busch’s funniest shows in years, featuring 90 minutes of non- stop chuckles, chortles, whoops and howls. Carl Andress’s direction perfectly captures Busch’s antic spirit with bravura acting from a terrific cast that keeps the laughs rolling.”
— Robert Feldberg, The Bergen Record
“DIE! MOMMIE DIE!”
“With superb direction by Carl Andress, and a flawless supporting cast, this Die Mommie Die! is such a tightly packed, hilarious success that you may be excused for temporarily forgetting it’s supposed to be a star vehicle.”
— Matthew Murray, Talkingbroadway.com
“Longtime Busch leaguer Carl Andress directs the brightly colored mayhem with skill.”
— Adam Feldman, TimeOut NY
“Directed by Carl Andress, “Die Mommie Die!,” is infused with the good-natured comic brio that has made Mr. Busch a drag artist whom middle America can embrace.”
— Ben Brantley, New York Times
“THE THIRD STORY”
"Directed by Carl Address, The Third Story is brightly enacted by the entire cast, Mr. Busch and company explore and explode all sorts of vintage cinema clichés, an activity at which Mr. Busch is without peer...Kathleen Turner is ever commanding...Jonathan Walker is perfectly pitched...Scott Parkinson in gloriously repellent...Sarah Rafferty is a screwball charmer...Jennifer Van Dyck turns an expertly written speech into a satirical pièce de résistance."
— Ben Brantley, New York Times
“Under Carl Andress’s confident ringmaster direction…the result is a romp and the excesses, fortunately and endearingly, are reserved for the actors.”
— Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg News
“Ingenious! Laugh-packed! The Third Story proves a treat and throbs with heart as well! All six actors shine under the sharp direction of Andress.”
— Hartford Courant
"The main joy of The Third Story…directed by Carl Andress…is that its foolery embodies something substantive...No wonder The Third Story feels like such an energizing event."
— Michael Feingold, Village Voice
“Under director Carl Andress, the acting feels perfectly tuned into the play's whacked-out frequency; his cast's work is a monument to crafty bombast…Andress handles the often overlapping scenes deftly.”
— James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune
“A WONDERFUL LIFE”
“Best in Theater, 2005: It was directed by Carl Andress with the artful assurance that spills across the footlights on the opening night of a hit show.”
— Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"The Drama Dept. has given the play a crackerjack, cinematically savvy production, entertainingly overwrought by director Carl Andress and a witty design team, Shanghai Moon brings down the house and proves an intelligently dumb, decadent delight."
— Gordon Cox, New York Newsday
"Carl Andress’ direction is aptly outré."
— John Simon, New York Magazine
"Carl Andress’ high octane direction offers the highest of high campiness and lots of eye-winking innuendo."
— Elyse Sommer, Curtain Up!
“THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE”
"With Carl Andress at the helm, the play becomes edgier, earthier, more scathing. Still funny? Of course, and you easily sense the play’s kinship with the rest of Busch’s canon.”
— Jack Zink, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Director Carl Andress blocks the action with the smooth fluidity of a savvy, seasoned pro, with a Broadway circuit slickness that wrests the inherent entertainment value from the material… “
— Tony Guzman, Miami Sun Post
"…Wife is a raucous, fun romp…crafty entertainment with an underlying layer of truth…the approach taken by director Carl Andress is satisfying…audience friendly and pointedly satiric…”
— Hap Erstein, Palm Beach Post
"Upper Wild Side! If you like down and nasty humor, this is your show…This Tale and its wacky characters have the brittle hilarity of a New Yorker cartoon…a crackerjack cast in a fine ensemble effort…Carl Andress, offers effective, crisp staging.”
— Ronald Mangravite, Miami New Times
"The Tale of the Allergist's Wife is the headiest and most sophisticated comedy that Paper Mill has ever presented…directed by Carl Andress so that even those in the upper reaches of the balcony can share the fun…a sweet-and-sour comedy, that's still a tasty dish.”
— Peter Filicia, NJ Star-Ledger
“…Andress has given full rein to the play’s conventional Broadway ethnic comedy side and in the process has made it funnier than ever”
— Bob Rendell, Talkinbroadway.com
“…Andress is deft in his handling of this script, and the quintet of actors ably rises to the occasion…Midwinter blues have you feeling blah? Doctor's orders: Get off your feet for two hours and take two acts of hysterical comedy…Paper Mill and director Carl Andress have delivered in spades.”
— Bill Van Sant, Worrall Newspapers
“J.A.P. CHRONICLES - The Musical”
“...Chick-lit becomes a one-woman show in Isabel Rose's J.A.P. Chronicles, the Musical. Based on her 2005 novel, "The J.A.P. Chronicles," this musical version, which Rose wrote, composed and performs, is directed smoothly and vigorously by Carl Andress...
— Alexis Greene, Hollywood Reporter
“...What makes J.A.P. Chronicles most fascinating is the ease with which Rose transforms herself from southern belle to Upper West Side powerhouse and back to the vengeful Ali. In an extremely demanding and strenuous performance she is a veritable whirlwind. Andress's very effective staging creates the illusion of both time and space.
— Paulanne Simmons, New York Theater Wire
“CRUSH THE INFAMOUS THING”
"Crush the Infamous Thing, is a furiously paced new comedy tribute to the dizzy screen comedies of the 1930s… Director Carl Andress is an accomplished hand at comedy.”
— Jack Zink, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Andress obviously knows a thing or two about the strange alchemy of elegance and slapstick that is at the heart of screwball comedy. The best thing about his direction is that it's nearly invisible. Yet the details are telling…he keeps the whole affair running with sexy ease at breakneck speed.
— Octavio Roca, Miami New Times
“A VERY SERIOUS PERSON”
"Co-writer Andress, as fellow stylist, Lee, has great comedic presence. His dramatic defense of nelly boys everywhere, however, is his strongest onscreen contribution to A Very Serious Person."
— Will O'Bryan, Metro Weekly, Washington, DC