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 Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Songs of the Stage
2004-01-28

This article shared 1634 times since Wed Jan 28, 2004
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


by Gregg Shapiro

The realm of musical theater and the LGBT community have a longstanding and loving relationship. Long a haven for creative outcasts, many of whom have same-sex attraction in their present, past or even future histories, musical theater is queerer than ever. Several such shows are currently playing on or off Broadway, and others, including Dr. Sex (the musical about bisexual sex researcher Alfred Kinsey which ran in Chicago during the fall of 2003) have their sights set on making that transition.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Avenue Q (Victor/Arista Associated Labels), for example, features the song 'If You Were Gay,' sung by one puppet named Nicky (Rick Lyon, the creator of Avenue Q's puppets) to his closeted roommate Rod (John Tartaglia). Set in an obscure and offbeat NYC neighborhood, the wildly successful musical blends puppet and human characters to deliver stories and lessons on racism ('Everyone's A Little Bit Racist'), the Internet ('The Internet Is For Porn'), love ('Mix Tape,' 'There's A Fine, Fine Line'), noisy neighbors ('You Can Be As Loud As The Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)'), being closeted ('My Girlfriend, Who Lives In Canada'), the stresses of city life ('There Is Life Outside Your Apartment'), and post-college life ('What Do You Do With A B.A. In English?,' 'I Wish I Could Go Back To College'), among other things, like an explicitly adult version of Sesame Street.

A bleached-blonde Jai Rodriguez (best known as the 'culture guy' on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) played Zanna, the title character in Tim Acito's Zanna Don't: A Musical Fairy Tale (PS Classics). Zanna is a mystical matchmaker at a high school in Heartsville, U.S.A., who magically pairs up the same-sex couples in the mostly queer student body. 'Love sleuth' Zanna seems to have found someone for everyone but himself. On top of that, Zanna is suddenly faced with the prospect of having to make the world safe for heterosexuals, when a male and female student discover that they are attracted to each other. Sillier and fluffier than even Avenue Q, Zanna Don't has a well-meaning, but ultimately a novelty, heart at its center, that may limit its appeal.

One of the gayest symbols of the '80s and '90s, Boy George has taken his life story and turned it into the Broadway musical Taboo. Until that Broadway cast recording becomes available, we have Taboo: Original London Cast (First Night). In addition to being gay, Boy George is renowned for his theatricality and the original songs in Taboo (all co-written by Boy George) bring that across with ease.

Gay men have been composing Broadway musical for years. Before he became known for his scores to such Disney animated classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, and Aladdin, the late Howard Ashman made his mark with the stage musical Little Shop Of Horrors. More than 20 years after Little Shop debuted off-Broadway and more than 15 years after the hit movie adaptation, man-eating plant Audrey II has made it to Broadway. Little Shop of Horrors—The New Broadway Cast Recording (DRG) features Hunter Foster (who was in the Tony Award-winning production of Urinetown) as plant shop employee Seymour and Kerry Butler in the Ellen Greene role of Audrey. This new recording contains the complete score and five bonus track demos with performances Ashman and Alan Menken, the show's creators.

Two gay men, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, make up two-thirds of the collaborators for the musical about Gypsy Rose Lee and her mother Rose on The New Broadway Cast Recording of Gypsy (Broadway Angel). Starring longtime friend to gays and lesbians Bernadette Peters as Rose and Tammy Blanchard as Louise (later known as the title character), who received acclaim for her portrayal of the young titular character in the TV movie Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, Gypsy has been a favorite of the community for many years.

Out gay composer Ricky Ian Gordon continues to write musical with sopranos in mind as you can hear in My Life With Albertine (PS Classics). The musical, 'based on the 'Albertine' sections of Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust,' features a scene in which Marcel (Chad Kimball) discovers in a casino near a train station that summer girls, 'in the absence of male partners, were dancing together.'

Although I received the Original Cast Recording of Rudolph The Red Hosed Reindeer (www. Handbagproductions. Org) too late to include it in my holiday music column, I made room for it here. David Cerda's lyrics (with music by Scott Lamberty) about being different are sung by queer elves ('When You're An Elf'), gay Herbie ('Being Normal, Pt. 1 & Pt. 3'), a cross-dressing Rudolph ('Being Normal, Pt. 2 & Pt.4'), among others, and cast a queer eye on the legend of Rudolph. I also received Holiday In Plaid (Fynsworth Alley), the cast recording companion to Plaid Tidings, the holiday musical edition of Forever Plaid, too late for inclusion in December. In addition to a guest appearance by Broadway star Faith Prince, the CD also includes the 'Catered Holiday Affairs' medley, featuring 'Oh, Little Town Of Bethlehem,' 'Mele Kalikimaka,' 'Christmas In Killarney' and 'The Dreidel Song.'

Other cast recordings to keep in mind include Das Barbecu (Fynsworth Alley), Jim Luigs and Scott Warrender's re-telling of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen in the musical comedy format with a five-person cast; and Wild Women Blues (DRG), featuring Linda Hopkins, Maxine Weldon and Mortonette Jenkins performing the songs of Comden, Green and Bernstein, Rodgers and Hart, the Gershwins, and others.


This article shared 1634 times since Wed Jan 28, 2004
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

THEATER 'Moulin Rouge!,' gay play 'The Inheritance' win top Tonys 2021-09-27
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the runaway winner at the Tony Awards on Sept. 26, snagging 10 awards. Among its honors were Best Musical, Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards 2021-09-14
- Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2 2021-09-11
- Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...


Gay News

MUSICALS Highland Park Players to run 'Matilda' Sept. 24-Oct. 3 2021-09-03
- The Highland Park Players return to live theater with the Tony-winning musical Matilda The Musical! opening Sept. 24 and running through Oct. 3 at the Northbrook Theatre, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook. Performances are Sept. 24-25 and ...


Gay News

MOVIES Fall films harvest famous names for LGBTQ+ stories 2021-09-01
- The film industry is featuring world-renowned names like Lady Gaga, Truman Capote and Tammy Faye on the big screen this fall season. Award-winning musicals, true-life stories and far-out fiction are all part of the fun in ...


Gay News

MUSICALS 'Beautiful' in Chicago on Nov. 2-7; tickets on sale Sept. 1 2021-08-27
- Producers Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced that individual tickets for the Tony- and Gramm-winning Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, about the early life and career of ...


Gay News

Sones de Mexico's 'Zulema' at Chicago venues through Sept. 2 2021-08-10
- Zulema—Grammy-nominated Sones de Mexico Ensemble's new work—will be in various Chicago venues through Sept. 2. The ensemble is a Chicago folk music group that specializes in the Mexican musical tradition known as son. Zulema continues throug ...


Gay News

Chenoweth and Menzel to co-host 'Wicked in Concert' PBS special 2021-08-06
- PBS's Wicked in Concert special on Aug. 29 will be co-hosted by the musical's original Broadway stars, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, Deadline reported. The event is slated to feature performances by Mario Cantone, Gavin Creel, ...


Gay News

Ravinia to unveil 'Bernstein's Answer' immersive theater experience 2021-07-23
--From a press release - HIGHLAND PARK, IL—On Saturday, August 7, the Ravinia Festival and Jeffrey P. Haydon, its President and CEO, will officially unveil the Ravinia Music Box (RMB) and its immersive theater experience, titled Bernstein's Answer, and fully open ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'In the Heights' available as soon as July 30 2021-07-14
- The 2021 musical film In the Heights will arrive on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 31. However, it will arrive for Premium Digital Ownership at home on July 30. The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) ...


Gay News

PrideArts 2021-22: "The Search for Identity Among Queer Communities" 2021-07-01
- CHICAGO — An Australian musical, a comedy-drama from the writer whose play was adapted as the hit movie JUDY, an Uptown holiday celebration, a new Ruth Bader Ginsberg bio, and a fifth play to be announced, ...


Gay News

Seb throws Carlos a quinceanero on 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' 2021-06-10
- High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a streaming television show on Disney+ inspired by—you guessed it!—the High School Musical film series. It is set in East High School and has a unique storyline with ...


Gay News

VIRTUAL CONCERT Lyric Opera airing 'The New Classics' on June 10 2021-06-02
- On Thursday, June 10, The Lyric Opera will air airtual cabaret featuring Broadway and Lyric artists in "The New Classics: Songs from the New Golden Age of Musical Theater." The event will start at 7 p.m ...


Gay News

Northlight Theatre to open its 2021-2022 season in September 2021-05-25
--From a press release - Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, announces its 2021-2022 season, opening with the tour-de-force musical Songs for Nobodies, by Joanna ...


Gay News

Citadel Theatre to return in fall with a four-show 2021-22 season 2021-05-08
--From a press release - LAKE FOREST, IL - Citadel Theatre Company will return to live, in-person, indoor performances in September with a season of four productions — three plays plus the company's traditional holiday musical - according to Artistic Director ...


 



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.