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Interview: Kevin Stocks And Gerald Gurss of AVENUE QUEER at Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus

A Broadway revue scripted by Denzel Belin connecting songs that tell our stories!

Interview: Kevin Stocks And Gerald Gurss of AVENUE QUEER at Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus is Returning to Ted Mann Concert Hall for the first time since 2019, acclaimed stage actress, Britney Coleman, currently performing in the revival of Sondheim's Company starring Patti LuPone, takes a break from her Broadway run to join TCGMC for their pride concert! This concert will feature repertoire from the vast songbooks of some of the most celebrated musicals of all time, woven together for a presentation you aren't going to want to miss!

We talk with Executive Director Kevin Stocks and Gerald Gurss the Artistic Director of the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus about Avenue Queer and Pride.

KEVIN STOCKS - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

How does it feel to have live audiences and theatre back?

Performing for a live audience has been so special this season after rehearsing and presenting our work virtually from our homes for so long. There's no substitution for being in the room when music is being performed. There's something different about the way it hits your ears when you're in the same room and becomes something you feel. We know our audiences feel the same way!

How does it feel to have Britney Coleman be apart of this concert?

Collaborating with someone as talented and accomplished as Britney is special, and we're very proud. Broadway repertoire is ambitious, so how better to tackle that and take it to the next level than alongside someone who is currently performing on Broadway! Britney is an up-and-comer, so we're so excited to perform with her.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride, to me, is about visibility, celebration, and representation. Our work of "building community through music" and being a positive example of our community happens all year long, and not confined to the month of June. But it's important to capitalize on the opportunities Pride month offers, which are great, and to continue our work in the brighter spotlight.

What do you hope the audience experiences or takes away from this concert?

One of the main goals for our performances is to creatively tell our unique stories through high quality artistry. So, we do a lot of commission work, because the traditional cannon of choral repertoire doesn't necessarily represent the experience of the LGBTQ+ community. We think empathy and understanding can be a positive outcome from these efforts and can contribute to dispelling preconceived ideas and bring people together. This specific concert was scripted by a very talented actor, writer and director, Denzel Belin, who wove together songs from musicals, a medium that is deeply cherished by many in the LGBTQ+ community, to tell our stories. We hope audiences will grow in their understanding of our community and recognize the way we are different, but also the same.

What are your favorite local spots?

Personally, I'm a craft beer fan, so anywhere I can get a really good IPA or Russian Imperial is where you'll find me. But come good weather I love a patio just about anywhere. I'm also very happy anywhere my husband and I pull our camper with our Australian Labradoodle, Lola.

GERALD GURSS - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

What do you enjoy about directing the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus?

TCGMC is one of the most unique gay men's choruses because of its location within the "land of 10,000 choirs." The Upper Midwest is known for having a heritage of choral excellence. So, while TCGMC prides itself in being highly entertaining, we also strive to achieve a high level of choral artistry as well.

What was the first musical show you saw?

The first musical I ever saw live was a touring production of Showboat! My dad took me to Kansas City (the big city), and we had a fancy steak dinner and a show.

What is your favorite musical?

This is pretty tough; there are so many to love for different reasons. Among my favorites are: Ragtime, Fantastiks, and Chess.

What is your favorite musical song in the concert?

"Beautiful City," from Godspell. Given the turmoil that has plagued Minneapolis for the last couple years, the song is a reminder that despite circumstance, we have the power to create the beautiful city we want.

Thank you Kevin and Gerald for your time!

Photo by Louis Zurn



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