BWW Review: Bravo to GMCLA for a Dazzling HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
I am forever excited with GMCLA's Holiday Spectacular, this year entitled Calling All Angels....and this is their 40th anniversary season. The concert was performed Saturday and Sunday December 15 and 16 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. The level of singing under Dr. Joseph Nadeau's superior direction was top notch. What we as an audience looked forward to was solemnity...and ... fun.
Act One was more solemn with many traditional carols, beautifully arranged I may add, and a few surprise tunes, such as the title song, "Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind" (pictured below), "Hallelujah" and my favorite "I Cannot Count the Stars" in remembrance of all past choral members who have died over the years from AIDS. So beautiful to listen to and allowing each and every one of us the chance to absorb the message of hope in the light of tragedy.
Act Two brought fun with a song scenario called "The Annoying Drummer Boy" banging his pots and pans with David Knebel as the Drummer Boy, Lee Stickler so hysterical in drag as Mary and Andy Mike Amata as the Baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Visually very funny! "Favorite One" from The Will Rogers Follies was a knockout choreographywise. Preston Mui is to be credited for his dynamic choreography throughout the show. "Dear Santa: Bring Me a Man This Christmsas" by Paul Jabara and Paul Shaffer reminded me of their hit "It's Raining Men" and was deliciously overdone with the guys in drag stealing the hour. (all three pictures below)
The finale was the gorgeous "Stand in the Light" by Jordan Smith in praise of the gay man who stands tall, perseveres and fights the odds in this harsh world. Following this came the powerful "Silent Night" in sign language.
GMCLA does great work in the gay ommunity all year long going out to schools and making sure that gay kids who have been bullied find love and acceptance in music and the performing arts. Thousands of lives have been saved with these ongoing projects. Gender Nation has joined with GMCLA to promote and sell their great educational array of books to help gay youth read in and out of the classroom. The books depict gay youth at various ages who are in the process of accepting themselves for who they are.
On another note, Dr. Joseph Nadeau who has been director for the last six years and who lovingly led the chorus throughout the Holiday Spectacular will be leaving shortly for a job in Wisconsin, sadly ending his work with GMCLA. We wish him well in his future endeavors.
Watch for spring and summer concerts to be announced soon.
And, there is a brand new studio CD Joyful and Triumphant featuring music of Christmases past to enhance your listening pleasure. You may order at the link below.