BWW Reviews: I AM HARVEY MILK a Hit With Combined Chorus of St. Louis and Kansas City
The Heartland Men's Chorus and the Gateway Men's Chorus from St. Louis, Mo. united on Friday night March 29 at the Folly Theater in Kansas City, Mo. The combined chorus presented I Am Harvey Milk, with words and music by Andrew Lippa. The production brought together three guest conductors, Dustin Stephen Cates, Al Fischer the Artistic Director for the Gateway Men's Chorus, and Dr. Tim Seelig the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.
The life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold public office in California, from boyhood to his assassination unfolds through dialogue and music. I Am Harvey Milk stars Cam Burns, Tom Lancaster, and Sylvia Stoner and includes guest accompanist Martin Fox with the Gateway Men's Chorus and guest sign language interpreter John T. Adams with the St. Louis chorus.
The Gateway Men's Chorus opens the show with four songs, followed by the Heartland Men's Chorus performing four songs leading into intermission. Carlton Lee, accompanied on guitar by Dean Rose and Sequoia Sprite, performs solo for The Gateway Men's Chorus with their opening song "Candlelight." The Heartland Men's Chorus followed, performing four songs with the last song of their set featuring a solo by Dr. Tim Seelig singing, "Give 'Em Hope."
Act II opens in 1942 with the prelude I Am, "An Operatic Masterpiece," featuring a young Harvey, adult Harvey, and the combined Gateway and Heartland Chorus. Dressed in garb reminiscent of the 1940's Cam Burns plays the young Harvey and has a marvelous voice. Previously he performed for two seasons with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in A Christmas Carol and the Living Room's production of Carousel.