Charles Busch is the author of a long list of hit plays (many of them including drag diva roles played by him!) including The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Die! Mommie! Die!, Psycho Beach Party, The Divine Sister, and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. Now Busch brings his latest project, an end of the year extravaganza, to 54 Below for two nights only. The December 28 and 29 shows promise “laughter, music, tears and sequins. But no boas.” Below, Busch recounts the influence Bette Midler had on him, the disco songs that make him move and his dream duet with Adam Lambert.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
The Beatles' Rubber Soul.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
Bette Midler at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, 1973.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
“I Wonder What Became of Me” by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. It’s haunting and beautiful and wonderfully actable.
What song gets you in the holiday spirit?
Kay Starr singing “The Man With The Bag.”
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
“The Dance at the Gym” from West Side Story.
If you could invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you could collaborate with?
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
It’s not an album, but the disco song “Native New Yorker” sums up my twenties.
What’s your favorite love song?
“Long Ago (And Far Away).”
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
Marianne Faithfull singing the title song of the movie City of Lost Children.
Favorite break-up song?
Billie Holiday singing “Deep Song.”
What song most makes you smile?
Judy Garland singing “Hey Look Me Over.”
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
The disco song “I Love the Nightlife.”
Don’t miss Charles Busch at 54 Below on December 28 and 29. Below is a video of Busch putting his signature spin on the Show Boat torch song “Bill.”