In Memory of Lucky Charming

I’m still figuring it out, and I probably will spend the rest of my life baffled at the loss. On Tuesday, April 4th, 2023, Lucky Charming died and left the burlesque worlds in Boston, New York City, and beyond at a dumbfounded loss.

I met Lucky in New York City some eleven, twelve years ago at the Homo Erectus Boylesque show at Stonewall Inn. He was performing a Twilight-inspired vampire act with the entertainer Rique Shaw, where he glistened like Edward and the two performers made out. It was a harbinger of things to come. It soon became clear that Lucky was an impish (try to describe Lucky Charming and not use the word impish) being with a smart sense of sexuality, satire, and playing to the audience. He was book smart, sure (BA in The Arts from Eugene Lang College), but also charismatic enough to know when to play up the smut, and the lowbrow and make it shine just as brilliantly as Shakespeare (which he was adept at, as well, having long desired to play the role of Puck–which he did in 2019, in both original and burlesque forms).

Over the next set of years. Lucky became a regular co-star in shows, and finally appeared in my own show, Boonton Boylesque (Boonton, New Jersey) in 2015. By then, I knew I was starting a residency at Rockbar in New York City and he performed his “Rainbow Connection” leprechaun act at the first show. By the end of the year, he had made 18 appearances at the weekly show, and was frequently in the audience when he wasn’t performing.

When he wasn’t booked, he was frequently preparing for one of his many one-man show performances (among them, VGL 5’4″ Top, Cootie Catcher and I Am My Own Cast Party) which appeared at fringe festivals and local NYC theater, KGB under his legal name Lucas Brooks.

He would perform an additional seven times at Rockbar the following year (2016), and at other White Elephant Burlesque productions elsewhere including NJ’s Roxy and Dukes and in Hartford, CT. He was offered official membership with White Elephant Burlesque, in honor of its troupe roots; he accepted with grace. He would move to Boston, where he would remain for the rest of his life, embraced by the scene. Returning to Rockbar for what would be his final appearance, in January 2017 for the Silver Tusk Awards (a tongue-in-cheek award ceremony), he was honored with Favorite Out of Town Guest, clearly missed by the NYC community that he had started with.

Before he left for Boston, he and I produced a show at Rockbar together. Anyone who knows me, knows I SELDOM, nay HATE, give up a microphone at my shows let alone put my name next to another in the same production. But I knew it was right decision to bring Dirty Pop to the Rockbar stage, a celebration of boy-band-heavy pop music. For that show, he hosted and performed. I premiered an act that would change the trajectory of my career, Digital Get Down. He took great pride in being pretty responsible for the act being in my repertoire and its success in the field while being quite upfront he wished he’d thought of it first. Lest anyone think he was sour on the subject, he hired me to bring the act to Boston on his dime, for another edition of Dirty Pop. He’s the reason it exists, and every time I do it, I think of him, and now hereafter, will continue to be in his honor.

He was a great friend. I would travel to Boston on multiple occasions, and while yes always had his couch to count on for a place to stay; I would also be guaranteed multiple car rides where we would bond over music new and old, late night discussions after the show, gossip sessions, honest examinations in ourselves as entertainers and humans, and a parting that would be promised to be as brief as possible.

He appeared on the podcast in its third season; delayed because I insisted on it being in person. Our rapport remained, and bunches were left on the cutting room floor for our ears only. I will treasure those moments, both preserved and ephemeral.

He would appear again, a willing participant as often as I asked, and was slated to be to be a part of another session scheduled for spring 2023 where we would geek out about movie musicals (having already espoused affection for Cabaret and Were the World Mine). Alas, it was never to come. Lucky left the physical world, and left a palpable space in the Boston burlesque and spoken word worlds, of which had been active (he performed just days earlier, and was scheduled to appear at his local chapter of Smut Slam the night of his death). Also remaining were the people who loved him greatly, as he was one of the most loveable human beings I’d met, and many were fortunate (lucky, yes), to meet.

There’s a lot more personal I could get on this subject, but I’m still not there yet. I loved him a lot, and he was one of the first people I’d met to really make me examine platonic love as not only viable but essential in one’s life; realizing yeah, if things were different in a whole lot of ways, we could’ve dated, but because things were not different in those ways, we would instead have a very close, important friendship that was actually a whole lot better. We would text, talk, post, comment, all of the things multiple times a month, sometimes multiple times a week. The last thing I said to him (the night before his passing) was appropriately 90s, Joey Lawrence and Chili from TLC were now dating?! “Whoa,” he appropriately replied.

I shall miss him every day, and give love and wish cosmic healing to the rest of the friends, family, and colleagues that mourn and celebrate him now, particularly his Viscous and Tingle co-producer, Silver Hawthorne; the alumni of Sirlesque, his Boston compatriots; His White Elephant Burlesque family members, those in New York who were present for his GLAM Award-nominated rise to local stardom, and the international scene at large who had yet to meet him.

We’re all cheering for you, Lucky, always.

xx Viktor

Lucky Charming’s Appearances on WEBurlesque the Podcast:

Movies That Made WE (queer) vol. 2, part 24: Were the World Mine

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Movies That Made WE (queer) vol. 2, part 16: Latter Days

Viktor Devonne asked some of his favorite nightlife personalities for some of their formative queer movies and they narrowed them to 3 each. Each segment features discussion on that film from the entertainer, in addition to further notes from those who were there at the time of the recording session. These are by no means…

MusicThatMadeWE #19: Lucky Charming

1 hours, 20 minutes (audio only version)1 hour, 59 minutes (Patreon exclusive version) Released: March 26, 2022Recorded: February 11, 2022 Boston’s (by way of NYC by way of Grand Rapids) Lucky Charming tells stories about the songs that make him up, from his slut soundtrack, to favorite concerts, depression, gogo picks, and of course, the boy bands…

The Movies That Made Us (Queer): Cabaret

57 minutes (audio only preview)2 hours, 16 minutes Released: June 12, 2021Recorded: June 3, 2021 listen to the audio only preview Amazon PodcastsApple PodcastsAudibleGoogle PodcastsiHeartRadioLibsynSoundCloudSpotifyStitcherYouTube Viktor Devonne brings in Broody Valentino, Lewd Alfred Douglas, and Lucky Charming for this Pride Month audio commentary experience of Cabaret, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Michael York, Liza…

#73. The Role of Lucky Charming Has Already Been Cast

1 hour, 37 minutes Released: November 18, 2019 Recorded: October 5, 2019 listen Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Podomatic SoundCloud Spotify Stitcher YouTube credits Intro and Outro Music: “On A 45” by This Way to the Egress – used with permission. Interlude Music: “Bummin on Tremelo” (Kevin MacLeod) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License everything else…


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