On February 7 the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus
offers something "less fattening than a box of chocolates, prettier than a pear shaped yellow diamond and easier on your wallet than a prix-fixe dinner": their first ever Valentine's Day show. Join the CGMC in the elegant Palm Court at the Drake Hotel for an evening that combines the best of Broadway, the American songbook and cabaret in one unforgettable performance that's "romantic, fun and just a little bit naughty."
"Attendees can expect a full range of emotions around love -- happiness, sadness, joy, humor," CGMC Executive Director Ken Bartram said. "Absolutely everything and anything to do with love."
The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus
can now add "Valentine's Day show" to their already extensive repertoire of performances, which include traditional choral concerts as well as original musical revues and full-length book musicals like "The Wizard of Oz," "The Pirates of Penzance" and "H.M.S. Pinafore." Their professional-level performances incorporate not only music, but dance, costumes, sets and other elements of theatricality. All of this is punctuated by their special flair, a "twist of gaiety" as their website describes, that seeks to entertain and inspire as well as educate and comfort.
"CGMC was born out of a movement where it was a courageous act to stand on stage as an out gay person," Bartram told ChicagoPride.com. "When we first performed to a national audience in the spring of 1983 at Lincoln Center in New York, we set ourselves apart by combining artistry with flamboyance and entertainment. And we still do."
Growing from a group of 55, the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus
now consists of around 150 singing members and a small army of volunteers. They continue to dazzle audiences with a yearly program that annually includes a holiday performance as well as a spring show and frequently a summer show during Pride. In addition to their regular performances, the group has also appeared at several Chicago events and helped to raise money for worthy causes. CGMC has taken their music across North America, traveling to many cities including Montreal, New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans, and in 2001 they were inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.
After the success of "Lipstick and Lyrics," another small group performance, CGMC was inspired to find an outlet to display more of their members' individual talents, which helped lead to "Deep Love." Next week's cabaret show features 18 of the chorus' members, led by Jeff-nominated musical director James Morehead, of the Chicago premieres of "Bare," "Passing Strange," and "Jerry Springer: The Opera." While some songs will indeed be romantic, and all will revolve around love, Bartram promises that the cabaret offers something for everybody.
The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus
is also offering a unique and thoughtful Valentine's Day gift this year. For only $25 you can send your beloved a singing telegram. For the first time ever, a quartet or more of CGMC singers will serenade your Valentine with the romantic classics "Embraceable You" and "When I Fall in Love." These singing Valentinegrams will appear in any CTA-accessible location on from downtown to the north side.
You can see "Deep Love" next Thursday, February 7, at 8:00 p.m. in the Palm Court at the Drake Hotel, 140 E Walton Street. General admission tickets are available for $35, while a $45 ticket includes VIP seating and a special Valentine's Day treat. Tickets are going fast, but Bartram invites all those who are unable to see "Deep Love" to join the CGMC in the spring for "All You Need is Love," a fun and fabulous tribute to the Beatles.
For more information and to purchase tickets for "Deep Love" or reserve a singing telegram for Valentine's Day, please visit http://cgmc.org