at the Echo Theatre, 1515 SE 37th, 224-8499, Sat. February 21, 8 pm, $16
Recently, the Supreme court has decriminalized sodomy, and the highest court of Massachusetts has declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right. Meanwhile, Cap'n Bush is preparing to endorse a proposed AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION that would invalidate civil unions for same-sex couples. Contradictory? According to Tim Miller, touring performance artist/teacher/nudist extraordinaire, this kind of chain-jerking wonky-ness is par for the course in the U.S. His new one-man show Us, inspired by the move to London he is planning because the government refuses to grant his gay British partner citizenship, is a fiercely personal attack on queer political trends in America.
"Exile is as American as apple pie," says Miller of his pending overseas odyssey. "There are literally millions of stories of people fleeing our country. I don't think [gays] can be even considered citizens here. We're denied too many of the basic citizenship rights."
Strong words, though Miller is far from a violent revolutionary. His weapons of choice in his battle against The Man are razor-sharp witticisms, er... striptease, and... showtunes!?
"With all the political stuff I've done, coming out as a showtune queen is really embarrassing," laughs Miller. "But once I confronted my showtune shame I started finding how rich these materials are in terms of politics and queer issues."
Don't worry haters of showtunes (oh how I pity you), Miller only sings once during his entire performance. Mostly, he takes musicals that have impacted his life and reinterprets them through the lens of current queer culture. Us is high-minded commentary for the highly informed. AND there's nudity!
"It's something that interests me," says Miller of his inability to stay clothed. "The water changes when clothes come off. People get interested and nervous."
Miller knows that. People will listen to a man say anything, if he's buck-naked. Attention right wingers: If your best spokespeople strip down, they'll have a much better chance of befouling our Constitution with their crazy little anti-marriage amendments. As progressive as I aspire to be, I'd vote on pretty much anything to see Rick Santorum in his birthday suit. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS