Dan O'Neill

Everything gAy to Z: Gay Men's Chorus of Washington 2009 Season Opener

Filed By Dan O'Neill | March 18, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

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On the evening of Saturday, March 21st (8:00pm) and the afternoon of Sunday the 22nd (3:00pm), the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington (GMCW) will present a "musical spectacular" honoring characteristics of gay culture, important personalities, and major turning points in our struggle for equal rights. Entitled, Everything gAy to Z, songs and narratives will go down the alphabet recognizing everything from Attitude, Brokeback Mountain, and Coming Out, to those boys at the YMCA.

Because this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the June 1969 protest at the Stonewall Bar in New York City that sparked the modern, American GLBT civil rights movement, the Chorus decided to commemorate this event by highlighting 26 aspects of our community and its history as it best can - through song and dance. It will be a fun show with lots of variety, humor, and even some nudity!

Event: Everything gAy to Z
Venue: Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University (730 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052)
Dates: Friday, March 20 at 8pm (for high-school and college students and their guardians), Saturday, March 21 at 8pm and Sunday, March 22 at 3pm
Tickets: http://www.gmcw.org/season/gtz.php

On the heels of its recent groundbreaking performance of My Country, 'Tis of Thee for President Barack Obama's inaugural celebration: We Are One, GMCW is putting forth a tremendous effort this season to amplify it's mission "to entertain through excellent musical performance, to affirm the place of gay people in society, and to educate about the gay experience."

As such, the Chorus is providing a free performance of Everything gAy to Z exclusively to high school and college-aged students and their guardians on Friday, March 20th. GMCW hopes the show will provide an entertaining way to educate the younger generation about their GLBT history. It will range the gamut of themes and emotions, touching on the superficial stereotypes, such as our inherent Attitude and Vanity; prominent gay figureheads like Harvey Milk, Judy Garland, and local activist, Frank Kameny (who may attend one of the performances); and poignant, personal accounts of one chorus member's Coming Out and another's struggle with Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Yours truly will be singing and dancing with the rest of the boys on stage, and I can assure you that it's not something you want to miss. I know that anyone who comes will be thoroughly entertained and will probably learn a few things, to boot. It's sure to leave you both laughing and crying; and if you're like most of us gays, you agree with Miss Dolly Parton when she says, "...laughter through tears is [her] favorite emotion."


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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 21, 2009 9:35 PM

Dan, be sure to keep us up-to-date about upcoming performances by the chorus.

Dan O'Neill | March 23, 2009 1:12 PM

All three shows were spectacular! Importantly, on Friday night's performance more than 536 youth tickets were distributed to students from 29 high schools, 21 universities, and 8 GLBT youth organizations. The feedback has been tremendous. I can only imagine what it would have been like to see a stage full of gay men singing and dancing when I was 16 year old.

Dr. Frank Kameny showed up for Saturday night's performance. We dedicated the show to him after delivering the "K is for Kameny" narration. With a thunderous ovation, the audience acknowledged the 84-year old Kameny, who has done so much to pioneer recognition of gay rights over the past century.

Also on Saturday, the local Fox News affiliate filmed the explosive opening number, "New Attitude" (a la Patti LaBelle), which incorporated complex dancing and was arranged specifically for this production.

In sum, it was an 'Absolutely Fabulous' production that the Chorus will take on tour to several other locations around the Mid-Atlantic region later this year. But for now... it's on to our June show.