Saturday, Jan 18, 2020
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 29, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 26
SMC hits a home run with Pride Weekend performance
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
SMC hits a home run with Pride Weekend performance

by Milton W. Hamlin - SGN A&E Writer

SING OUT: YOU PICK THE HITS
SEATTLE MEN'S CHORUS
June 22


To use a seasonally appropriate sports metaphor, the Seattle Men's Chorus knocked it out of the park with its Pride Weekend concert at Seattle Center's McCaw Hall, attracting a nearly sold-out audience. By the time the long, long program ended with a rousing 'Dancing Queen,' SMC had clearly delighted its many fans - Gay and straight, young and old, longtime enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

SMC built the concert around a thematic approach: audience members voted in advance on what Chorus favorites they wanted to hear. The concept itself is a well-established (if rarely used) format and offers the proverbial 'something for everyone' grab bag of old favorites and novelty numbers. When that approach worked - and it did most of the time - things went terrifically. When the Chorus strayed from the format (some numbers seemed unlikely to have been audience choices) the results were still outstanding.

Numerous adaptations of well-known poems by later composers were featured, with writers such as Siegfried Sassoon, Armistead Maupin, Rudyard Kipling, and e.e. cummings adding class to the programming. As a result, the concert was often reminiscent of the 'classical' performances of yesteryear that delighted serious SMC music fans but too often did not attract the size of audience the Chorus needs to remain solvent.

Overall, the program was at its best in the serious musical sequences. Many who came expecting a camp-fest were surprised (and delighted) with the polished, thoroughly professional results. One friend, attending her first SMC concert 'to support my just-out nephew,' laughed, 'I thought it would all be drag queens on roller skates.' Minimal Gay hijinks and maximal musicality seemed to be the rule.

The evening began with a truly spectacular opening. 'Everyone Sang,' set to a poem by Sassoon, found only one-third of the Chorus on stage as the curtain rose at McCaw Hall. The remaining members were divided among various parts of the auditorium: balcony, main floor, left and right corners. The resulting madrigal-like effect was truly magical. An obvious audience favorite, 'Over the Rainbow,' followed. While the song's inclusion was no surprise in itself, it proved to be one of many 'expect the unexpected' events of the evening. About 15 men in Hawaiian shirts and leis stood stage-left of the Chorus and strummed ukuleles. No camp here - SMC turned the Wizard of Oz classic into a brand-new musical experience, wistful and reserved. Some 'Friends of Dorothy' in the crowd might have been disappointed, but this was a brilliant arrangement and performance.

Two outstanding soloists recreated the famous July Garland/Barbra Streisand duet, 'Happy Days Are Here Again'/'Get Happy,' which had electrified viewers of Garland's 1960s TV show. Both were tops, with great support from the Chorus. 'For the Straight Guys' featured eight members of the Chorus in some topical LGBT satire. The somber 'O Magnum Mysterium' followed - a perfect contrast to the tongue-in-cheek nature of the previous novelty number. 'Five Romantic Miniatures From The Simpsons' provided a charming diversion (but, again, seemed an unlikely audience balloting winner). 'The Circle of Life' from The Lion King was another musical highlight of the evening. Rear projections of abstract African-like leaf patterns added a visual bonus and gave the Elton John/Tim Rice classic an extra punch. Bird calls and other exotic elements made this number a true audience favorite. Great presentation and great musicality.

'Michael's Letter to Mama,' based on Maupin's Tales of the City series, was an emotional highlight of the evening. Three fine soloists shared the narration - an excellent choice that allowed all of them to shine.

Three audience sing-along numbers clearly delighted Dennis Coleman, artistic director of SMC, along with many in attendance, but in light of the program's extreme length, this element could have been left out.

Act Two found the Chorus members more casually dressed. The sharp tuxes and snappy red ties of Act One were jettisoned and various shirt styles and colors, vests, and suspenders created an altogether different feeling. The simple set of staggered art deco or 'art moderne' light boxes of varied colors remained, with occasional rear projections - a stylish look that added class to an already classy evening.

Members of the Seattle Women's Chorus opened Act Two in the center-stage position. Looking stylish in black slacks with black sequined overblouses, the SWC looked and sounded terrific with two fine selections.

One of the evening's few outright comedy numbers, 'Davey Jones's Locker,' brought 'Daydream Believer' center-stage with polish and fun. Following that campy outing, 'i thank You God for most this amazing day,' based on a poem from e.e. himself, brought a classical nod to the programming. Beautifully written, beautifully sung.

Other well-chosen numbers followed, with 'Livin' La Vida Loca' ending the main program with a wink to Gay father-of-twins Ricky Martin and dance-craze choices of the recent past. A sequined backdrop catapulted to the stage to introduce 'Dancing Queen.' The audience went wild.

'Seattle Pride Idol' sequences, several clever dance/movement numbers, a Diverse Harmony interlude, two drag queens, and some heartfelt speeches added depth and/or fun to the overall program. While the running time, as noted, might suggest some cuts, this was a fun, fun night and a great way to start Pride Weekend.

For information on the Seattle Men's and Women's Choruses, visit www.flyinghouse.org.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Engaging Grassroots a captivating political uprising
------------------------------
Channing & Joe: stripped
Actors talk film's Gay following, straight guys in thongs, and the real-life Magic Mike

------------------------------
Betsy Morgan dreams a dream
------------------------------
Rent is due
The hit rock musical comes to Seattle next month

------------------------------
SMC hits a home run with Pride Weekend performance
------------------------------
Frozen will thaw your cold, cold heart
------------------------------
ACT and Azeotrope team up for taut jail drama
------------------------------
Foster the People pump up Seattle audience
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Guns blazing, absurdist America attacks
------------------------------
Les Ballets Trockadero: great art with humor
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
A summer roundup of Seattle music festivals
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------

------------------------------
Freedom Fantasia a feast of flag-waving fun
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News