Review: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Presents DRAG ME TO THE MOVIES! at Davies Symphony Hall

Next up for the SFGMC is: All We Need Is Love, June 18, 2024 at 7:30pm in collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony, Davies Symphony Hall.

By: Mar. 29, 2024
Review: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Presents DRAG ME TO THE MOVIES! at Davies Symphony Hall
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San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Presents

Drag Me to the Movies

March 28, 2024

Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco

Founded in 1978, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has been a bedrock of hope and inspiration, a constant through the horrors of the AIDS pandemic, a major player in the struggles for equality and a source of musical magic over the decades. Under the direction of Jake Stensberg, the SFGMC takes on the music of the movies with their usual approach of merging the sublime with the ridiculous. The result was a highly entertaining evening powered by the transcendent sounds of over 300 voices joining in unison.

Review: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Presents DRAG ME TO THE MOVIES! at Davies Symphony Hall
SFGMC Artistic Director Jacob Stensberg

Opening with Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run,” the theme song from the film Working Girl, and “Pure Imagination,” the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley theme from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, the chorus was in excellent form backed by a solid nine-piece band. Then came the comic elements, always crowd favorites. Lady Camden, she of RuPaul Drag Race fame, performed a number of hilarious mini ballets set to the familiar movie music of Carl Orff, Edward Grieg, Richard Wagner, and Beethoven.

Review: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Presents DRAG ME TO THE MOVIES! at Davies Symphony Hall
Lady Camden

A smaller ensemble of the chorus, The Lollipop Guild, brought us costumed characters performing the music of John Williams from Superman, Indiana Jones, ET, Jaws, Harry Potter, Jurrasic Park and Star Wars. The powerful and affirming “Stand Up” from the movie Harriet saw soloist Yulee Newsome bring the house down.

The talented Lady Camden once again showed her dance chops with ballet set to the music of Moulin Rouge highlighted by “Come What May.” The SFGMC is much more than just stellar choral music, including powerful messages of hope, strength, community, and social change. From The Prince of Egypt came “When You Believe” by Steven Schwartz, a song of pushing through the hardships to achieve miracles.

Review: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Presents DRAG ME TO THE MOVIES! at Davies Symphony Hall

A gender-bending operetta set to the music of Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On” was comic genius as was another small ensemble (The Homophonics) homage to the film Pitch Perfect. My highlight of the evening was “Chevaliers de Sangreal” with Latin text set to the haunting, monumental music of Hans Zimmer from the finale of the film The Da Vinci Code.” This is the true magic of SFGMC – multi-textural layered sections that rise and fall brilliantly and evoke emotions that stir the heart. The show closed with “This Is Me,” a new LGBTIQA+ anthem from The Last Showman. Marching to the beat of a different drum and bursting through barriers defines our community and the SFGMC.

Next up for the SFGMC is: All We Need Is Love, June 18, 2024 at 7:30pm in collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony, Davies Symphony Hall.

Photo credit: Stefan Cohen



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