Skip to main content Skip to footer site map


The GMCW is a national treasure.

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC.
Photo by Craig Cipollini.

The joyous holiday sleighride of rich musical moments and enthusiastic commitment continues as the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC (GMCW) presents The Holiday Show. This dedicated group has entertained the LGBTQ community for decades and it is refreshing to see them live in concert at their holiday offering. GMCW has plunged ahead during this daunting era with their effective outreach and fine virtual offerings, but it was so delightful to see them live in concert once again. These grueling times demand a little lift, and this is the group that can fill the bill with top-notch musical energy.

Under the talented and progressive leadership of Artistic Director Thea Kano, the GMCW has delivered the holiday goods with style and inclusive flair. Associate Conductor C. Paul Heins and Pianist and Principal Accompanist Theodore Guerrant enriched the festive proceedings considerably.

A veneer of jazzy, swinging bounciness pervaded much of this evening's concert ---except for the most formal numbers. The musicianship was robust and resonant, and this uplifting show was an extremely creative melding of ethereally mesmerizing songs intermixed with amusing and campy, comic numbers. Stage Director Solomon HaileSelassie and Production Manager Chipper Dean should be commended for their professional zeal in coordinating such a solid undertaking with brisk energy----the concert seemed to end much too soon.

Sartorial splendor was evident in the Costumes by Jeffrey Hollands and Gary Turner----the stage was awash with vibrant greens and reds throughout. This sartorial splendor was inviting and on view as the chorus and ensembles wore colorful scarves adorning their jackets and sweaters, but it exceeded expectations in the wonderfully outrageous novelty numbers "SparkleJolly/TwinkleJingley" and "Super Gay Christmas" ---be prepared for costumes reminiscent of Off-Broadway's celebrated Howard Crabtree---"over-the -top" delight!

The ensembles that comprise the GMCW were in full force, and all were in exceptional form. Particularly commendable was the A cappella group Potomac Fever, which delivered two songs in masterly style. "That's Christmas to Me" and "Boogie Woogie Frosty" were delivered in their impeccable yet hip style---this ensemble is on par with the acclaimed groups the Manhattan Transfer or the Persuasions.

The spiritually infused gospel group (led by Joshua Sommerville) Seasons of Love was an absorbing and emotional powerhouse as they sang "This is Christmas/Listen to the Bells". Soloists Tommie Adams Jr., Kerry Neal, Elishua Perez, Mikal Rasheed, and Micah Yarbrough were outstanding.

"The Chanukah Song (We Are Lights)" was particularly evocative and moving both in musicianship and presentation. Highly immersive and reflective singing was sensitively delivered as candles were lit and the words "we are miracles----lighting up the dark" (by lyricist Steve Young ---music by Stephen Schwartz) lingered in the mind. This arrangement by Mac Huff was stunning and soloist Josh Millson-Martula enthralled the audience.

The GenOUT Chorus has grown in confidence and professionalism, and they wowed the crowed in the highly rhythmic and choreographed amusing take on "Mrs. Claus". This committed ensemble also contributed strongly to the GMCW'S inclusive and welcoming paean to diverse holiday traditions in the reflective and very affirming "Merry Everything". (A big shout-out to GenOUT Choreographer Iván Dávila).

The GMCW conveyed a joyfully rousing rendition of "Te Deseo Feliz Navidad" with verve and panache. Soloists Jahdiel Torres Cabá and Gabriel Lopez were outstanding.

The Rock Creek Singers ensemble displayed mesmerizing harmony and perception in their beautiful rendition of "Glow" with a fine piano accompaniment by Lisa Edwards.

Choreography throughout the entire concert was beautifully done with finesse and polish from the more energetically amusing dance pieces to the movement for the more stylized songs. Kudos to Choreographers Craig Cipollini and James Ellzy and Tap Choreographer Danny Aldous. The choreography flowed from the beginning to the end of the concert and complimented the mood of every song.

The 17th Street Dance ensemble performed an intriguing balletic dance interpretation of the song "Cold Enough to Snow" (Music by Alan Menken and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz). The ensemble also joined the GMCW for the rollicking and rocking upbeat and extravagant finale "12 Rockin' Days of Christmas".

Set Design by Bernard Vicary was creatively handled, Lighting Design by Solomon HaileSelassie was quite festive and Sound Design by Mark Klein was solid.

The GMCW is a national treasure, and The Holiday Show adds to the riches.

Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission.

The Holiday Show of the GMCW was presented on December 4, 2021at 8pm, at Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U Street NW, Washington DC and will continue December 11th at 3pm and 8pm and December 12th at 3pm. For tickets go ONLINE.

Embracing Arlington Arts Releases 2023 One-Stop Library Of Studies Of Health Benefits Of T Photo
The non-profit organization Embracing Arlington Arts is proud to release its third edition of a one-stop library database of 100 study links providing scientific evidence of the health benefits (both physically and mentally) of various arts genres for every community sector.

Round House Theatre Commissions Works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván & More Photo
Round House Theatre has commissioned works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván, and joint-commissioned Margot Bordelon and Jiehae Park.

Review: SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! at Fords Theatre Photo
What did our critic think of SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! at Ford's Theatre? Four lady singers dominate in the very best way SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!, a musical biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973). at Ford's Theatre through May 13. Sister Rosetta began singing in church alongside her mother, Katie Bell, who traveled and preached in the rural South before women could vote.

Signature Theatres SIMPLY SONDHEIM Starring Norm Lewis, Solea Pfeiffer & More Re-Relea Photo
Signature Theatre is presenting a streaming re-release of its 2021 digital production of Simply Sondheim on March 22 in honor of the late composer’s birthday in continuation of its season-long tribute to Signature’s signature, Stephen Sondheim.

From This Author - David Friscic

David has always had a passionate interest in the arts from acting in professional dinner theatre and community theatre to reviewing film and local theatre in college.  He is thrilled ... (read more about this author)

Review: PACIFIC OVERTURES at Signature TheatreReview: PACIFIC OVERTURES at Signature Theatre
March 17, 2023

The clash of cultures –between West and East—is portrayed with poetic and musical flourish in Signature Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s rarefied and insightful Pacific Overtures. This very specialized of musicals should now appeal to a larger audience thanks to the savvy, relevant and comprehensive direction by Ethan Heard.

Review: THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT at Keegan TheatreReview: THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT at Keegan Theatre
February 1, 2023

In a world of fake news, alternate facts, social media frenzy and an increasingly opinionated and polarized public/audience, the issues raised in the intellectually challenging play The Lifespan of a Fact are more relevant than ever.  Now being presented at the Keegan Theatre, this play may be short in length, but it probingly explores the weighty issues of the passion of the essay writer/prose stylist versus the scrupulous and zealous fact-checking of the journalist/article writer.

Review: ENGLISH at Studio TheatreReview: ENGLISH at Studio Theatre
January 18, 2023

Is learning a new language a hindrance to your heart’s love of your cultural heritage, is it purely functional, or is it a means of gaining enrichment and new understanding? Is precise pronunciation meant to trip lightly off the tongue in any language or is it best to take pride in your original accent?  Is Farsi one of the most poetic languages in the world? These are some of the questions raised in the alternately serious, disarming and somewhat indefinable play English now being presented at the Studio Theatre.

Review: A SOLDIER'S PLAY at Kennedy CenterReview: A SOLDIER'S PLAY at Kennedy Center
December 18, 2022

A searing indictment of prejudice and racism in all its permutations wrapped in a fascinating “whodunit” mystery ----the compelling Pulitzer-Prize winning play by Charles Fuller, A Soldier’s Play, is now a knockout of a production at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. 

Review: THE HOLIDAY SHOW presented by Gay Men's Chorus of Washington at Lincoln TheatreReview: THE HOLIDAY SHOW presented by Gay Men's Chorus of Washington at Lincoln Theatre
December 13, 2022

The holidays are upon us and that means the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC (GMCW) is presenting their much-anticipated annual holiday musical present---an engaging package of song and dance, The Holiday Show, for the LGBTQ+ community (and, hopefully, for the larger DMV community as well).