Drew Droege, Thomas Hobson, and Michael P. McDonald in "Psycho Beach Party." Photo by Jeff Lorch.
Drew Droege, Thomas Hobson, and Michael P. McDonald in “Psycho Beach Party.” Photo by Jeff Lorch.

We never know where we may stumble upon writer, actor, and all-around funnyman Drew Droege. But if you’re in Los Angeles this summer, it’ll likely be strolling around West Hollywood before, after, or during his hilarious performance in Psycho Beach Party.

Produced and presented by HorseChart Theatre Company at the Matrix Theatre, the revival of Charles Busch’s 1987 comedy promises queer thrills, chills, and plenty of laughter. Droege plays Florence “Chicklet” Forrest in the camp classic that pokes fun at the style of some of our favorite films.

Droege, who can be seen as Mark the Slob in Cora Bora starring Megan Stalter, is no stranger to the stage, writing and starring in the one-person hit Bright Colors and Bold Patterns and Happy Birthday Doug.

Queerty caught up with Droege between shows to find out what tickles his funny bone and who some of his favorite LGBTQ+ personalities are.

(from left) Karen Maruyama, Thomas Hobson, and Drew Droege in "Psycho Beach Party."
(from left) Karen Maruyama, Thomas Hobson, and Drew Droege in “Psycho Beach Party.” Photo provided by HorseChart Theatre Company.

Psycho Beach Party, written by the legendary Charles Busch, is a mash-up of ’50s psychodramas and ’60s surfer flicks. Spoiler alert: the moment that gets me every time … 

It’s toward the end of the show when the kids are all having the wildest rock-a-hula luau, laughing and twisting with abandon. Someone runs on and screams, “Has anyone seen Marvel Ann (the awful mean girl)?” The entire cast hatefully screams, “NO!!!” and then goes back to blissful dancing. It’s so funny to me and sums up the whole vibe — just ridiculously and furiously unhinged.

My ideal beach day would include … 

I wake up in my cabana on the shores of Sayulita, Mexico, the most gorgeous place on earth. I say goodbye to that handsome beachcomber whose name I could never quite care to remember. Suddenly, Dorothy Malone, Vincent Price, and Jacqueline Susann show up with cool martinis and Crab Louie. We’re all decked out in Pucci loungewear, natch.

Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho popularized the term, but if I were to peg it to a modern-day nut job, it’d be …

Well, I mean… there’s the obvious choice that immediately leapt to the minds of everyone who just read this question. But he sucks, so I’m gonna go with a much more fun answer — Lisa Rinna! She’s my kinda wackadoo, and we’d love to party with her on the beach. My advice to her is, “Keep going, mama! No notes!”

Yes, theater happens in LA! The best part about performing in the City of Angels is … 

Actors who do theater in LA are doing it for the experience, not the money or really even the exposure. We do it because we love it and want challenging roles that we rarely get in film or TV. Also, I firmly believe that this city understands and delivers comedy better than anywhere else on earth. This cast has been on “Friends,” “MADtv,” and “In Living Color,” … but the stage is where they all really shine. Also, we are in the heart of WeHo. Grab a burger at Melrose Umbrella Co. before, and meet us at Schmitty’s for cocktails afterward!

The gayest thing about me …

I can quote any and every John Waters movie. I love the word boulevardier almost as much as I love drinking it. I change my opinion about who should have won Best Actress at the 1951 Oscars on an hourly basis. 

When I saw _________ onstage, I knew I wanted to be an actor …

When I was 15, my community theatre, the Lincoln Theatre Guild (Lincolnton, NC), did Grease, and I wanted to be up there so badly. The performance I will never forget belonged to Paige Rice, whose Rizzo was hilarious and free and genuinely gutting. I immediately auditioned for their next show and have been acting for 32 years.

The LGBTQ+ person I’d love to collaborate with next … 

I am in awe of playwrights Michael R. Jackson, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Jeremy O. Harris, Samuel D. Hunter — I would love to create with any/all of them. And/or do some sort of “Irma Vep” type of thing with Cole Escola — what a dream that would be!

At my dressing table, you’ll find …

Sam Pancake digging through my belongings! Cherry throat lozenges, designer ibuprofen, Burberry peach lipstick — only the best for Chicklet! 

Psycho Beach Party plays at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. Performances through July 7.

Sam Pancake, left, and Drew Droege.
Sam Pancake, left, and Drew Droege. Photo provided.

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