Future City Homosexual Tells All | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Future City Homosexual Tells All

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FUTURE CITY HOMOSEXUAL TELLS ALL, at the Theatre Building. Written and belted out by Jeff-winning composer Kamys, this two-act semiautobiographical concert monologue features 16 country-western songs, ranging from the jukebox rouser "I'd Rather Lick My Wounds Than Kiss Your Ass" to "Rider," a bellowing, Janis Joplin-style love ballad.

A familiar story of self-discovery connects the selections: at 18, songwriter Logan John leaves home (the title hamlet) for the big city, lands a contract with Elektra, sleeps around, and loses a friend to suicide. What's different is the title's operative word: the pleasure here is listening to vintage bluegrass melodies with uncharacteristic lyrics, as in "Homosexuality," "Boyfriend," "If You're Such a Man (Why Do You Act Like a Woman)," and the stalker song "If You Should Try to Run for Cover, I'll Be There to Blow Your House Down Again." His raspy voice evoking Joe Cocker and his down-home songs recalling John Prine, Kamys offers an offbeat but true-blue slice of Americana.

If at times the narration waxes awkward and the byplay with the superb eight-person band and the female backup trio seems less than spontaneous, the songs are a hoot and a holler. Smoothly directed by Tab Baker, Kamys sells his tunes every way he can: audience participation, free beers, collecting donations for Season of Concern, giving out a recipe for chocolate Kentucky bourbon pecan pie. His sheer heart and talent don't hurt either.

--Lawrence Bommer

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