Fresh from winning the 2017 BroadwayWorld New York Cabaret Award in the category “Best Show, Celebrity Male,” Charles Busch returns to Chicago with his latest cabaret act, My Kinda 60s. The witty Busch is best known as the author and original star of the 1980s camp comedies Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Psycho Beach Party, and Die, Mommie, Die!—gender-bending spoofs of the genre films (biblical epics, beach-blanket comedies, horror films) that Busch grew up watching in the 1960s. In his new cabaret act, which he premiered last October at the Feinstein’s/54 Below supper club in New York, Busch performs sans drag, recounting comic and nostalgic stories of his childhood and adolescence growing up in Manhattan under the protection of his indomitable Aunt Lillian.
Busch and his musical director, pianist Tom Judson, evoke the decade with an eclectic array of tunes, ranging from Broadway fare by Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Newley and Bricusse, and Lerner and Lane to the jazzy pop of Henry Mancini and Burt Bacharach to folk and pop songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Jimmy Webb, and the Turtles. Though his career has been based mainly in New York, Busch actually began sharpening his theatrical fangs in Chicago; after attending Northwestern University in the mid-70s, he performed with his own troupe in such apprentice efforts as Old Coozies and Myrtle Pope, The Story of a Woman Possessed, appearing at gay bars and bathhouses, movie theaters, and the fabled Halsted Street punk disco La Mere Vipere.
Charles Busch: My Kinda 60s. Sun 1/21 and Mon 1/22, 7:30 PM, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, 800-737-0984, pridefilmsandplays.com, $40, $75 reserved seating.