CHICAGO, November 1, 2023 Chicago Gay Men's Chorus celebrates its 40th Anniversary with The Big 4-0, ho, ho!, a celebration of CGMC's holiday favorites over the last 40 years. Featuring festive arrangements from current Artistic Director James Morehead and a plethora of music from Chorus Alumni. This choral show honors how far CGMC has come as an LGBTQIA+ organization and proves that they are still here. Join in on the fun and ring in the holidays as the Chorus prepares to raise their voices for another 40 years. Featuring Chicago Tap Theatre! Visit cgmc.org/holiday for more information and tickets.
Over 200 members will take to the stage for this momentous occasion. The Big 4-0 is rife with classic CGMC holiday tunes from the last four decades. The Chorus will perform favorites like "12 Gays of Christmas," "Deck Those Disco Halls," "I Get Even Gayer at Christmas," "We Three Queens," and many more. Artistic Director James J. Morehead programmed the show as part of the 40th Anniversary Season. "This show started with brainstorming ways to commemorate our 40th year," said Morehead. "We are taking many familiar tunes that I have arranged and elaborating on them even further, making each song a little more fresh and exciting." Audiences can even look forward to a gay-tivity moment.
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus is performing their own show at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University for the first time. The massive downtown venue holds up to 3,901 guests with an expansive stage. "The 40th Anniversary is an extremely special moment in CGMC history," said Executive Director Kevin Corbett. "We wanted to mark the occasion with a great show and get the larger Chicagoland LGBTQIA+ excited to come and celebrate with us at this fabulous venue."
CGMC's membership numbers have been increasing since the organization's return to live shows from the pandemic in 2021. "It's exciting to see the interest and talent run through the doors to sing and build such an awesome community of singers and friends," said Morehead. The Chorus has come far as a community in the last 40 years, with the culture around being LGBTQIA+ continuing to change. When the organization first began, a portion of members did not want to have their name listed in the program, due to fears of violence and losing their jobs if it was discovered.
The organization was founded in 1983 at the height of the AIDS epidemic to bring awareness to the fact that LGBTQIA+ voices were being erased. "Now we wear pronoun buttons and perform in three very different parts of the city," said Morehead. "Music has always been a medium of change, resilience, protest, and safety; and we use it for all of them." CGMC is a safe space for all singers and open to anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community and allies, regardless of gender and sexuality.
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus has big plans for the next few years, including a deeper reach into the queer community to connect with LGBTQIA+ youth and seniors. There are plans for program expansion, wider visibility, and potentially going on the road. "This 40 year marker motivates us as a community organization," said Corbett. "We have stood the test of the time and we are not going anywhere."
What comes next after the big holiday show? CGMC's annual live-singing drag show "Lipstick and Lyrics: Forty and Foxy," featuring some sexy drag kings and queens, February 24 & March 1-2, 2024 at the Center on Halsted. Next up is "Party Like it's 1983" at the Studebaker Theater, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, and the Beverly Arts Center, May 17-19, 2024.
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus is looking forward to seeing you at the show to party it up, enjoy great holiday tunes, and celebrate the Chicagoland LGBTQIA+ community. Tickets are on sale now at cgmc.org/holiday.
Friday, December 8, 2023 at 8:00 PM - The Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., Chicago, IL 60605
Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 3:00 PM - North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL 60077
Tickets range from $25 - $92 with additional per ticket fees. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit cgmc.org/holiday.
Find us online on Facebook: @ChiGMC, X: @chicagogmc, and Instagram: @cgmc.
ABOUT CHICAGO GAY MEN'S CHORUS
The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus (CGMC) has been an integral part of Chicago's cultural and gay communities since 1983. For more than three decades, the chorus has entertained audiences across the continent with innovative musical programming exploring everything from love to politics to the sometimes fabulous, sometimes challenging world of being gay; often all at the same time. Our always-memorable performances have included original musical revues; full-length book musicals; traditional choral concerts and intimate cabaret presentations; all punctuated with our signature joyous irreverence. Chicago Gay Men's Chorus was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2001. The Chorus was recently selected by Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs to receive the 2023 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Humanities in honor of LGBTQIA+ History Month.