BWW Review: GMCLA Offers Enjoyable PINK CARPET

BWW Review: GMCLA Offers Enjoyable PINK CARPET

Pink Carpet/The Portrayal of LGBTQ People in Film/Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA)/Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm, June 23 - 24

Despite a bomb threat that caused the audience of the Saturday matinee to be evacuated from the Alex Theatre in Glendale and the performance to be cancelled, GMCLA persevered and went forward with the Saturday evening performance of their spectacular Pink Carpet.

The photo above (Stan Mazin) gives you an example of just how colorful the second act was with the men in various shades of pink exuding Dolly Parton's "Travellin' Thru". The entire show was a tribute to gays in film. Actor/comedian Special Guest Star Leslie Jordan was in and out from the start documenting changes from the 1930s on up. His mention of the afternoon bomb threat set the tone for his brilliant shenanigans, "They thought I would burst into flames". He later lost his place and started to talk about the 50s and 60s before the 30s. Lots of laughs! Flashing on the screen were pix of Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, Greta Garbo and Jean Arthur, Tony Perkins and Tab Hunter, Katharine Hepburn and Laura Harding, all of whom had after hours' relationships but it was a deep dark secret due to the Hayes Code that was strictly upheld. A lovely rendition of "Secret Love" by the chorus followed. Icons were established by Jordan such as Bette, Joan and Marlene... and of course Judy followed by "Over the Rainbow". As far as the male element is concerned Steve Reeves of "Hercules" fame had many men swooning since their early teens or before. Men fell in love with his physique and sexy demeanor despite the fact that he was probably straight. In the second act there were a whole bevy of actors tributed who put on women's clothes to entertain like Divine, Dustin Hoffman as "Tootsie", Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N Furter in "Rocky Horror" and Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo in "To Wong Foo...", as well as Tyler Perry, among others.

Songs of the evening in lovely arrangements included: "Someday My Prince Will Come", "Falling in Love Again" with Jonathan Gail as Marlene, "Stand By Your Man", "The Way He Makes Me Feel" and "As Time Goes by". A gorgeous solo in Spanish "Recuerdame" ("Remember Me") was essayed by Shun Kanazawa and a beautiful ballet to the "Brokeback Mountain Suite" danced by Preston Mui and Will Cabrera. Credit Mui for overall choreography and Philip Hayman for the vibrant costume design.

What most impressed me as always with this sensational group under the baton of Dr. Joseph Nadeau was their audacity to reach for the stars and to be who they are said best in the finale "This Is Me". GMCLA goes out to the community regularly and visits high schools to inspire teens with the meaning of the 'gay' experience, to help bullied teens find acceptance and optimism for the future. So, GMCLA is not just a chorus; it's a dedicated organization that goes out on a limb daily to make a difference in our world. With the atrocious border incidents separating parents and children, GMCLA is reaching out to Mexicans and asking them to join our growing community.

In that light, there will be a special concert with the Gay Men's Chorus of Mexico real soon. Watch for date and location!

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From This Author Don Grigware

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