Justin Bond

When Justin Bond rose to cult status in the early ’90s incarnating the boozy songstress half of cabaret duo Kiki and Herb, he knew audiences took from his prickly gender-bending only whatever they could handle. “If they were like, ‘Oh, it’s drag! Look at the big clown!,’ and that’s as deep as they wanted to go, well, that was there for them,” he once told me. “Or if they wanted something that was funny, it was funny. If they wanted something that was a little bit more profound, if they wanted to go there, they could go there.” A bit of advice: Go there with Bond; he’ll lead you to unexpected raptures. In and out of drag in his Kiki-less, Herb-less new solo show Angels of the Morning: The Ladies of AM Radio, he celebrates the incantatory pull of popular music too often dismissed with easy irony. His deep, raging rattle of a voice shakes the kitsch off classics like the Carpenters’ “Superstar,” backed by a band that includes local heroes Kurt Bloch and Jim Sangster of the Young Fresh Fellows. And, yes, Bond remains an acid raconteur in Angels. He introduces “You’re So Vain” with this thought: “Ladies and gentlemen, when a narcissist falls in love with you, you feel really special.” STEVE WIECKING

Thu., March 18, 8 p.m., 2010

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