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A Twist on Holiday Tunes 

Wednesday, Dec 21 2011
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus probably sounded pretty brash to much of the nation when it was formed in 1978. But those were heady times for queer people, especially ones who had mad artistic skills and wanted to live out loud, as it were. The chorus now has 275 members and continues to flex its choral muscles. In a summer show called Hootenanny it did parody numbers including "Drag Queens in the Sky" and a version of Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E." It also employs theatrical components such as costumes and dance numbers, and routinely has colorful guests. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence once led a sing-along holding cue cards. In its winter show, Home for the Holidays, guests include Melody Moore, a soprano who recently performed with the SF Opera in Heart of a Soldier and next year will sing in the New York City Opera's production of Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna. Also on stage is Velocity Bells, a four-piece "handheld ensemble" that astounded one reviewer by rendering the "Hallelujah" chorus at high speed "without breaking a single wrist." Drag performer Donna Sachet (former Miss Gay SF and 30th Empress of San Francisco) is on hand, as are members of the Lesbian|Gay Chorus of San Francisco for tonight's first show. In a Yelp review, one chorus member cites a message from a first-time attendee who wrote that all the beautiful men and music "made me regret being straight that night!" Mad skills indeed.
Sat., Dec. 24, 2011

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Keith Bowers

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