Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Big Apple Performing Arts, Inc. presented the New York City Gay Men's Chorus, this past Sunday, December 15th at Town Hall. Dr. Charles Beale, Artistic Director did such a FABULOUS job conducting those lovely voices. There were a few times that he stepped aside to allow James Gedge and Skie Ocasio to do there thing as well.  It was all to do from keep my eyes on Tom McGillis, the Sign Language Interpreter as he not only signed the words but used his acting abilities as well as his huge smile.

The performance was a combination of readings from a podium located below the stage on the left (stage right) and singing (vs. signing).  "I too sing America" was spoken leading into "The American Dream" and a salute to George Gershwin and Irving Berlin with "An American Holiday".  A spoken "Noel" was the followed by "Three Carols":  Emanuel, Shiloh, and Bethlehem, then into a reading of The Angel Gabriel salutes the blessed Virgin Mary.

"Ave Maria" (the Anton Bruckner version) following with "Gabriel's Message" and two speeches: "No struggle, no progress" and "Change".  Back to musice with "You Yourself Must Change It" and Over the Skies of Yisrael (yes, a token Jewish holiday number)".

The Legend of the Poinsettia was read followed by "Christmas Time is Here/Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".  Two firefighters were honored re hurricane Sandy ending the first part of the show with "Holding Out for a Hero".

A bit of humor after intermission with "What I Want for Christmas medley", "The Value of Singing", "High Middle and Low" and a sing along of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with a twist having the words on the program insert.

GUEST STAR!  Judy Collins came on to the stage singing a few songs, telling a joke and letting us know about her Town Hall show coming up next June.

"Let it Snow" and "Silver Bells" was followed by a reading of Gingerbread Spoon Cake, a recipe from Paula Deen.  "Hard Candy Christmas" led into a reading of Gift Suggestions.  It was then that I notice that Tom McGillis had departed from his spot and onto the stage.  We were taught how to sign the beginning of "Silent Night".  At first there was a solo in German, followed by the chorus with everyone signing.  Then there was no music while we all signed the song.

McGillis stayed on the stage while the chorus sang "This Holiday" and the finale, "Christmas Time's a-comin'".

Celebrities?   I believe that Sarah Rice (who was in the original cast of Sweeney Todd as Johanna) was seated beside me. 

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