Monday, June 29, 2009

review - BROADWAY!

GMCLA (Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles)
Guest Star: Jennifer Holliday
Saturday& Sunday, June 27 & 28
Alex Theatre, Glendale

GMCLA consistently does fine concert work and last Sunday's BROADWAY! was no exception. The chorus did some gorgeous renditions of Sondheim, including "Loving You" from Passion and a brave "Getting Married Today" from Company - pure solo material, I do not believe it has ever been sung by a chorus before. There was a fast-moving, well choreographed "The Bitch of Living" from Spring Awakening, an utterly scrumptious "Life Is" from Zorba and even a skin show in comic renditions of "Honey Bun", "There Is Nothing Like a ----" (no Dame here, hon, this is an all male-choir, after all!) and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" from South Pacific and a leather exhibition in "He Vas My Boyfriend" from Young Frankenstein. Not as original or hilarious as many comedic numbers in past productions, but still amusing none the less - these leather and towels segments!
The piece de resistance was assuredly Miss Jennifer Holliday, who did not let down her fans - and that was the whole audience! - with "One Night Only" in Act I and in Act II her signature monologue "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", both from Dreamgirls.
Her voice is still phenomenal and, with what seems to be a 100 or more lb weight loss, she looks very pretty and oh so sexy. (See photo below!) Holliday also pulled out all the stops on "Blues in the Night" in Act I and joined the chorus for the finale "We Are Family".
Other soloists worthy of note: powerhouses Jessay Martin and Richard Rocha with "Written in the Stars"/"The Gods of Nubia" from Aida and Bill Bowersock wonderful in a Jerry Herman medley "Let's Not Waste a Moment" and "It Only Takes a Moment" from Milk and Honey and
Hello Dolly! respectively.
There was a rousing "Circle of Life" from The Lion King to open Act II and a simply divine "First You Dream" as closing song from Steel Pier.
This was an elegant concert from GMCLA. They never disappoint! And don't miss their Christmas concert in December! It's always one of the most exciting holiday shows.


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