The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. successfully mixed theatrics with classic holiday music, in a modern and comedic performance at Lincoln Theatre on Saturday.
This singing group is unique in its mission, as its website says they try to “inspire equality and inclusion with musical performances and education promoting justice and dignity for all.” With over 250 singers, the chorus performs throughout D.C. with various themes, but their annual holiday shows are a public favorite.
The night opened with a winter scene, with kids throwing snowballs and adults walking across the stage with humorously tall piles of presents. This incorporation of acting and movement into the songs was a common theme throughout the 23 numbers. But all of the funny moments is not to say the show was just for a laugh. Though there were only male singers, they had a surprising vocal range. The group also had complicated, fast-paced choreography at times, yet they remained meticulously coordinated and professional.
The chorus further blended music with other art forms through tap dances, spoken poetry, ballet and projection. They also chose to reinvent some of the classic holiday songs, giving them new life and often a message about LGBTQ positivity. The number that got the most laughs was a song revealing Santa is actually gay, and while it was incredibly witty and funny, it also hit home their greater message about embracing all sexual orientations in
The performance featured other groups like the only D.C. youth choir for LGBTQ kids, which had students from Marshall High School as well as other local schools. My personal favorite number was a performance of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” which they dedicated to those in the audience and on stage who at one point served their country in the military. Given the military’s history of not accepting the LGBTQ community, I thought it was particularly important around the holidays to give thanks to their bravery both in their duties, but also in choosing to hide their identities for the greater good.
The night ended with men dressed in drag coming out for a final number, which closed off the performance with stunning costumes and a modernized take on holiday classics. I recommend anyone in the area to take their friends or family to see The Gay Men’s Choir for stellar singing, innovative artistry and professionalism and a message to DC youth and all LGBTQ members and supporters to continue to embrace their talents and voices.
With the holidays often being a difficult time for people whose families struggle to accept their identity or who want to come out but are too afraid too, this choir really tells a story of taking a time of year that is traditionally daunting and turning it into true art.