Here & Now

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

If you’ve ever wondered why I’m wearing a tux in the photo that runs with my column, it’s because I sing in The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. I joined in 2005 to put active music-making back into my life and to become part of a circle of friends with whom I could share not only the love of song but also the other joys and trials of life. A few of my fellow singers have become close friends, and I cannot begin to thank them enough for the love and support they’ve given me; I can only hope to repay them in kind when they need it.

Friendship as much as love of music is the glue that binds the singers in PGMC to one another and to the organization. It’s quite fitting, then, that next month, we will present a concert that focuses on how that glue works – and what happens when someone comes unstuck.

When you attend our “Here & Now” concert – if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re not the “if” type – you will recognize many of the songs we sing that celebrate friendship and support. You will have heard some of them every time you watch a “Golden Girls” rerun, if you’re a Simon and Garfunkel fan, or if you were spellbound by the Broadway hit “Wicked.” And there are more where those came from.

What you won’t have experienced before is the powerful rock oratorio that makes up the second half of the concert, “Through a Glass, Darkly.” However, you may have experienced something like the story this work tells in your own life. Many gay men have had to deal with a loved one who turns to a drug – alcohol, cocaine, narcotics, or the one this work deals with, crystal meth – to fill a hole in his life and ends up falling into a deeper one instead, much as Sebastian does in “Through a Glass, Darkly.” And like Sebastian’s boyfriend Zack, many of the men who love them feel powerless as they watch their friends and lovers go down that hole. What “Through a Glass, Darkly” tells us is that we are not powerless.

If you have, or have had, a Sebastian in your life, you will no doubt recognize the emotions expressed in this musical story. And we will have resources on hand for you and your Sebastian at each performance: staff from Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia’s LGBT health and wellness center, and from organizations that help crystal meth users recover from their addiction.

After all, the ultimate message of “Through a Glass, Darkly,” like that of every other song in “Here & Now,” is that friends and family are there for you most when things look bleakest. In offering these resources, PGMC and its partners are only doing what any good friend would do.

“Here & Now” will be performed at the Arden Theatre Company, 40 North 2nd Street in Old City, on Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17. Show times are 8 p.m. both nights and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for all performances are $20 and $30 in advance and $25 and $30 at the door. VIP tickets for the 8 p.m. shows are $50 and include a pre-concert reception. I encourage you to get your tickets early, as our shows increasingly sell out. You can purchase tickets online at or directly from Chorus members. For more information, visit the Web site or call 215-731-9230.

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