WONDER & WICKED: GMCLA’s “Not Entirely Wicked” Closes 34th Season

“Change is happening at lightning speed. Our president enthusiastically supports the LGBT community. Gay Americans are serving openly in the armed forces. Major league sports players are coming out of the closet. And in just a few days, the Supreme Court will rule on marriage equality…
We believe that the Supreme Court is going to do the right thing. Because in the end it’s only ever been about one thing; love. What’s more beautiful than that?”
Christopher Verdugo, GMCLA Executive Director

THE REASON Predicting the inevitable re-legalization of same-sex marriage in California, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles celebrated the closing of their 34th season of overcoming prejudice through music, by paying tribute to the music of Stephen Schwartz, on June 23. In an effort to bring music to students and teach about acceptance and the contributions of LGBT people the chorus works with the Alive Music Project in Los Angeles and the It Gets Better Tour across the country. THE REVELERS Stephen Schwartz made appearances throughout the show performing and singing some of his own music solo as well as being accompanied by his longtime friend and Broadway staple, Liz Callaway. GMCLA borrowed Guest Conductor, Timothy Seelig from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, where he is the Artistic Director and Conductor. West Hollywood City Council member and GMCLA Tenor, John J. Duran performed with the chorus as usual. THE RECAP The show included performances of music entirely written and composed by Schwartz (with the exception of “Schwartz At The Movies” a blend of songs from The Prince of Egypt, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas, and “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted, both of which included the collaboration of Alan Menken). Closing the first half, “That’s How You Know” featured a same-sex couple (Matt DeLeva and Rex Nunoz) falling in love and getting married.  A piece called “Testimony,” written and composed by Schwartz for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and inspired “It Gets Better Project,” left the audience in tears. “Defying Gravity” from Wicked closed the show, a reworking of “Popular,” which featured three competing Glenda the Good Witches, stole the show.

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