Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

IN THE LIFE Jonathan Zeng
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-05-01

This article shared 1198 times since Tue May 1, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Life is shaped by experiences—and it's a unique set of occurrences that has led Jonathan Zeng to his upcoming Chicago concert, "Songs That Speak."

Zeng, who studied operatic performance and who has performed throughout the country, moved to Chicago from Cincinnati in 2014, as AIDS Foundation of Chicago hired his partner, Edward Wagner.

However, while Zeng has been singing for most of his life, he didn't engage in songwriting until just a few years ago—something that was spurred by having a teaching job in Cincinnati being rescinded after the school found he is gay. "Edward encouraged me at that time to try writing some of my own songs—and I will be performing at least one of my own tunes during the cabarets," Zeng said. He added that he'll "probably perform 'I Found You,' which is about Edward."

Since moving to Chicago, Zeng said that he's been "lucky enough to perform with a number of organizations. I'm a regular member of the William Ferris Chorale, and we have a concert coming up [May 5 at Chicago's Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church]. I have sung with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, several productions with the Chicago Fringe Opera, I did one production last summer with Folks Operetta and, this summer, I'll be singing a lead role in the Folks Operetta's The Csardas Princess."

As for the title "Songs That Speak," Zeng has posted a statement explaining it: "It's often said that music is the universal language. While not all music speaks to all people, the sentiment is so true! The communicative power of music transcends spoken word. Just think about how a certain song can evoke an intense emotion or bring you right back to a specific time, place, or experience. All the music we present in 'Songs That Speak' has spoken to me in some profound way. It's my hope that it will speak again through us to all who hear it."

In addition to "I Found You," Zeng added, "People will hear a lot of musical theater—[Stephen] Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown—but there will be some [other] familiar elements, like John Denver and John Mayer. It sort of runs the gamut."

Lastly, when asked what's the allure of musical theater for him, Zeng replied, "Musical theater is a truly American art form, and it tells a story; that's why I'm singing so many songs from musical theater—the storytelling is the most important part, and the stories relate to everyone. I love telling my stories through songs that speak to me."

QUICK STATS:

—Age: 36

—Identifies as: Gay ( and uses pronouns he/him )

—Neighborhood: Bucktown

—Relationship status: Has been with Edward Wagner for almost 10 years

—Favorite snack food: Peanut butter

—One of your favorite musicals: Sweeney Todd

—Dream duet partner: Kristin Chenoweth

—Would you try out for a reality-competition show? "I did many years ago and it's a fascinating idea—but it doesn't really capture what I truly love, which is the in-depth study of a piece."

Jonathan Zeng will perform "Songs That Speak" ( with Doug Bistrow, Michael R. Oldham and Daniel Eastwood ) Saturday, May 12, at 7 p.m. at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. Tickets are $15; visit JonathanZeng.com for tickets or music.


This article shared 1198 times since Tue May 1, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Batwoman,' Village People, Neil Patrick Harris, Mariah Carey
2021-01-24
SPOILER ALERT: Season two of Batwoman (featuring the lesbian superheroine) began by introducing Ryan Wilder, the new lead character on The CW show played by Javicia Leslie—and explained how first-season ...


Gay News

'Mombian Database' released
2021-01-13
Mombian columnist Dana Rudolph has released the Mombian Database of LGBTQ Family Books, Media, and More, with more than 500 books, music albums, movies, games and toys for and about LGBTQ families. The site offers multiple ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Tales' star dies, 'Wonder Woman 1984,' holiday songs, 'Drag Race'
2021-01-05
Marcus D'Amico—the original Michael "Mouse" Tolliver from the miniseries Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City—died at age 55, Queerty noted. In 1992, he also originated the role of Louis in the National Theatre's London run of ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag announces annual benefit, "The Morning After"
2020-12-23
CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit "The Morning After," featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race,' year-end honors, 'Guardians,' Taylor Swift
2020-12-21
VH1 unveiled a game-changing twist from the upcoming season of the Emmy-winning RuPaul's Drag Race, premiering Friday, Jan. 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, a press release noted. For the first time in Drag Race "herstory," queens ...


Gay News

Windy City Gay Chorus, Windy City Treble Quire present Let There Be Light
2020-12-15
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — Windy City Performing Arts (WCPA), the not-for-profit parent organization of Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire, is proud to announce its 41st annual holiday concert, Let there be Light: A ...


Gay News

PrideArts to screen A Not So Silent Night Tuesday, Dec. 15
2020-12-15
To honor the tradition of gathering around with family and singing holiday songs, even in a pandemic. PrideArts is hosting a one-time screening of the film A Not So Silent Night tonight, Dec. 15, 2020. The ...


Gay News

HotHouse to stream Cuban jazz festival "Jazz Plaza" Jan. 21-24
2020-12-14
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Marguerite Horberg, executive director of the award-winning Chicago-based nonprofit arts presenter HotHouse, today announced that it has been awarded the exclusive rights to stream the 2021 legendary Cuban ...


Gay News

Indoor Voices series spotlights Duke It Out Nutcracker Dec. 18
2020-12-11
--From a press release - The Music Institute of Chicago's "Indoor Voices," a free series of virtual visits with arts luminaries featuring conversation and occasional performances, returns with a new episode spotlighting the Music Institute's ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Ravinia producer Stephen R. Smoot, 57
2020-12-11
--From a press release - Stephen R. Smoot, who produced hundreds of concerts for Ravinia Festival since 2005, died suddenly on Friday, Nov. 27. He was 57. Known for his quick wit and generous impulse to shine the spotlight on others, ...


Gay News

Kylie Minogue's 'Infinite Disco' to stream New Year's Eve
2020-12-09
Singer Kylie Minogue announced that her performance event "Kylie: Infinite Disco" will be streaming New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m. across respective time zones. The performance premiered last month following the release of Kylie's ...


Gay News

Biden considering Buttigieg for high-profile ambassadorship
2020-12-09
Axios reported that President-elect Joe Biden is considering a high-profile ambassadorship for former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg—possibly sending him to China. The outlet stated that Buttigieg—the openly gay 38-year-old former ...


Gay News

Cyndi Lauper's 'Home for the Holidays' event Dec. 11
2020-12-07
Award-winning singer, icon and advocate Cyndi Lauper announced that her 10th annual Home for the Holidays benefit concert will premiere on Friday, Dec. 11, exclusively on her TikTok at 8 p.m. ET, with an additional stream ...


Gay News

Chicago Cabaret Professionals make a gift of their free gala concert
2020-11-30
--From a press release - For over twenty years the Chicago Cabaret Professionals' (CCP) annual Gala has been a festive live event. This association of over two hundred singers refuses to be deterred by the pandemic and will make a gift ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Singer Justin Utley, Gus Kenworthy, video game, 'Jackplot' film
2020-11-30
OUTMusic Award winner Justin Utley has released the single "All Is Bright"—his first holiday release, a press release noted. Utley described the song as a little-bit of Lumineers/Mumford & Sons mixed in with a lot-a-bit of ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.