The Gay Men's Chorus fills most of Davies' Symphony Hall's Stage
If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know there there's nothing I love more than dozens of singing men in tuxedos. How about HUNDREDS of singing men in tuxedos? Yes please. And no, I don't care if they're all gay, they still sound and look amazing.
I'm pretty excited that I can be at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas (more posts on that to come, sorry to have slacked) and the day that I get back, I get to see the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus perform the program "Enchantingly Wicked" in Davies Hall WITH Stephen Schwartz, composer of Godspell and Wicked. Seriously, I'm pretty lucky.
The SFGMC was joined by San Jose's mixed chorus Choral Project (you can see them in the center dressed in black in the photo above), which added a some female energy to the program. A highlight was "For Good" from Wicked, a song about friendship and how good people can change your life, solos by Kristina Nakagawa and Ariel Buck.
I cried about twelve times the whole evening.
The combination of the timbre of that many male voices with the cute choreography and the uplifting and inspiring thematic material that characterizes Stephen Schwartz's work, kept my eyes damp for most of the performance.
I had never drawn the connection that the same brilliant mind created Godspell, Wicked and the song "Colors of the Rainbow" from Pocahontas. After hearing everything all together in one program, Schwartz's voice comes through loud and clear. His thematic material is positive, uplifting and the melodies are soaring, wonderfully poppy and fun to sing.
And, the dude can perform. He played several songs, just his voice and a piano. One of the cuter tunes about finding love in a big city: "Everyone wants to be in love, just not with anyone they know." How true!
The SF Gay Men's Chorus records "Testimony" at Sky Walker Ranch
And then there was world premiere of "Testimony", commissioned by the SFGMC, composed by Schwartz in collaboration with Dan Savage and the "It Gets Better Project" based on the words from LGBT video participants and their struggle in finding hope while living in fear.
OH. MY. GOD. There wasn't a dry eye in the Hall.
"You will change lives" said SFGMC Artistic Director and Conductor Timothy Seelig of the choruses performance, quoting I think Schwartz himself.