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Review by Bill Kaiser
July 15, 2004
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles had a triumphant finale to their 25th Anniversary Season with “You Made Me Love You: The Music of Judy Garland” at The Alex Theatre in Glendale California July 9-11, 2004.
The cultural and historical significance of Judy Garland to the GLBT community cannot be over-estimated. So it seemed a natural fit for GMCLA to perform her standards and wisely without the usual special guest diva. It was just us audience and the hundred plus divas in the Chorus.
The songs performed were in the Garland repertoire and while some in the audience would have been happy for them to “sing ’em all and stay all night,” artistic director Bruce Mayhall wisely included many in medleys, and the show just zipped along. The Concert showed the range of music associated with Judy from the rousing “Strike Up The Band” and “San Francisco,” to moving ballads like “The Man That Got Away” and “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” Naturally, having all the songs sung by men added a new dimension and meaning.
Particularly good were the special dancing and singing groups that sung with the main Chorus called The Dixie Swells, The Babes, and The Red Line. Also a big crowd-pleaser were the film clips; especially where they said “let’s put on a show!”
The Chorus continues to improve over the years with a richness of sound and the professionalism of both the veteran and new members. GMCLA is a valued resource and treasure for the Southern California GLBT community.
Their message is “Music with a mission” and that “We sing because speaking is not enough.” They live up to those messages.
After the Chorus returns from The GALA VII in Montreal, they will hold auditions and begin preparing for their 26th season. Support them by joining, subscribing, or becoming a “Shining Star” contributor.