Legendary playwright and drag performer Charles Busch has always combined elegantly languid, self-effacing charm with an effortlessly brassy glamour. Busch’s main line is comically complex hard-boiled dames, and while he doesn’t leave that behind entirely, this act is in general more sentimental and sincere. The most time he spends in “brassy-land” is when he’s portraying the character Miriam Passman, an under-talented, over-egotistical cabaret dilettante.
When not giving us Ms. Passman, this act is more of a “big sing” than previous presentations. Busch has a pleasantly throaty, not terribly strong, high tenor singing voice – but you don’t come to one of his acts for musical virtuosity. As with the greatest cabaret singers, it’s all about how Busch acts the story and emotion of a song.
The songbook for this show ranges from Jerome Kern to Paul Williams. For each song, Busch takes pains to clearly delineate the details of every image and event, with just a dash of his “dame” persona to give it all an elegantly wry air. He does a clutch of Sondheim songs, and it’s telling that most of them are from the quirky flop Anyone Can Whistle – sweetly off-kilter is the target, and Busch hits it with artful precision.
Busch sincerely loves artifice and invests every moment he has on-stage with substantial style – and a discreetly dishy side, as well. They don’t make ’em like this anymore, and there’s only one Charles Busch.
For tickets, click here.
To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.
Queer transgender legend Justin Vivian Bond, like many activists, is not taking the Rentboy.com bust lightly, saying, among much else, that “There is a movement happening and many organizations creating Know Your Rights seminars this week. This is about workers’ rights–labor rights and equal protections for all kinds of workers without basic access to legal and healthcare support because they are deemed criminals or denied access to banking, housing or Facebook, in all sectors of the Adult industry, not just escorts. It’s about sex phobia and public shaming.” Find the full text of v’s response here.
Freddie and Stuart are back! Gay “Sir” actors Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi return as the bitchy but loving old queens of Vicious for a new season of misadventures, involving family, the gym, weddings and such. Also returning are Frances de la Tour as their old friend Violet and Iwan Rheon as their neighbor Ash. More at PBS.org.
The Mayor of Venice, Italy, Luigi Brugnaro, has decided to ban children’s boys with gay themes – and Elton John isn’t having it! John accuses Brugnaro of having “stupidly chosen to politicize children’s books by banning titles that touch on same sex families living happily ever after. So instead of encouraging a world based on inclusiveness, tolerance and love, he’s championing a future society that’s divisive and fosters ignorance.” Not only that, John describes Brugnaro as “extremely silly looking.” Find the full story at CNN.
The Bronx LGBTQ Pride Awards Dinner will be held on Tuesday, July 14th at Eastwood Manor in the Bronx with an impressive list of honoress including Empress Fiona St. james, Bronx Council of the Art’s Longwood Art Gallery and more.