Originality is hard to come by, especially in the world of choral groups. There aren’t many pieces that are written for large groups, and even fewer that an captive an audience. The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) did just that. Not only did PGMC recently debut That Summer: A Fantasia on Family original music by Andrea Clearfield and libretto by Tom Gualtieri but they also went above and beyond my expectation and blew me away with their staging of a one act choral musical called Alexander’s House.
While I was satisfied with That Summer: A Fantasia on Family. I was blown away by Alexander’s House. The story of a man who dies and leaves his summer home to his estranged son instead of his partner. It is a story about bringing people together from separate worlds and about the family of friends we create. The original music and lyrics are by Michael Shaieb, the composer and lyricist of Through a Glass Darkly. Based on the book by Michael Schaieb and Brent Lord. The musical featured characters that held surprising depth for having such little stage time, while the story itself was light enough to be told in just 60 minutes. I (Along with my date) got goose bumps at least three times and we felt all the feels. I think myself to be fairly “cultured” and experienced when it comes to theatre arts, but I had never seen a show presented with a choir before. Imagine the Greek muses of all of your favorite greek tragedies supersize to include a bunch of talented men!
I'm looking forard to PGMC's next big event, their 5th annual Fall Ball! More info can be found here – http://www.pgmc.org/event/fall-ball-prohibition/
Photo by Patrick Hagerty