“What makes Heart Throbs so unique is that we are celebrating male heartthrobs,” describes Artistic Director Jeff Buhrman. “No matter our age, we’ll never forget our first fantasy dream date or boy crush. From Frank Sinatra to Ricky Martin to Adam Levine, GMCW will be singing the songs of some of the most celebrated male singers and groups of all time.”
Featured musical selections include songs like ‘Moves Like Jagger’ by Maroon 5 and ‘Sexy Back’ by Justin Timberlake. The chorus will also be performing songs from idols such as Ricky Martin, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Boys II Men, as well as vintage crushes like Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
Chorus member Eric Peterson gushes, “What I love about this show is that it's really sexy and really innocent at the same time.” Audience members from all age groups will find something artistically delicious to enjoy during this jubilant performance.
“The inspiration for the show was to recall the celebrity crushes we had as young gay men and sing the songs that brought us back to those times in our lives - and as we're a large, multigenerational group, we're singing everything from Frank Sinatra to Elvis to George Michael to Maroon 5.”
The gregarious vocals of the singers, combined with the complex choreography, will continue to provide audience members with essence of what makes this chorus so special. Artistic Director Buhrman explains, “What excites me the most is the great variety of music and dance styles. Seeing ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’ with sexy dancers; hearing beautiful choral arrangements of The Beatles and the Jackson Five.” Buhrman continues, “For me one of the high points of the show will be a pas de deux danced to the chorus singing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’. The song takes on a completely new meaning when sung and danced by gay men. It is intensely personal and very emotional.”
Along with glittering entertainment, the performance allows for audience members to explore and reminisce about their own storied pasts, allowing them to come to terms with elements of their own historical journey. Chorus member Peterson explains, “Hearing this music brings me back to a time in my life when I was daydreaming about handsome guys without even knowing I was doing it, before I learned to be ashamed of it and then learned to overcome the shame with pride.” Peterson continues, “[This performance] is uncomplicated by any of that, it's not political, it's just ... dreamy. And I think it's important for gay men to disconnect from our oppression every once in a while and reconnect with the pure simple joy at the core of being gay.”
The GMCW is also taking the opportunity to honor those who join in their call-to-action against oppressors of civil rights. During the June 2nd performance, GMCW will honor Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank with the 2012 Harmony Award. Frank is being honored specifically for his significant contributions advocating for the rights of LGBT people nationwide. “I’m very gratified [in regards to] receiving this award.” Frank explained. Frank, who plans to retire from Congress at the conclusion of his term in 2013, became the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as a gay man in 1987. He plans to marry his partner in Massachusetts this July.
Frank feels very strongly about supporting organizations such as the GMCW. “It embodies two goals – one of which I hope we’ll lose. The first is it maximizes our ability to make change, and I feel strongly that will happen very soon. The second is that after we win marriage equality, organizations such as this brings us together since being gay is part of our life. These types of groups and events will continue to enrich our lives.” Frank candidly revealed his own teen idol growing up. “The teen idol I was attracted to was Ricky Nelson back when he was a regular on television.”
Heart Throbs promises to be a fitting end to GMCW’s latest season of eclectic artistry. As Peterson sums up, “GMCW has done some amazing work this year.” Buhrman adds, “I am most grateful that we have a family of over 300 singers and 100 support volunteers who dedicate thousands and thousands of hours in order to make our season work. We love to sing beautifully but we also like to push the envelope in every possible direction – no two shows are the same. From a more traditional holiday show (although we had singing and dancing Nuns), to a February show that celebrated the uniqueness of every person by singing about growing up to be whoever we want to be; to our gender-bending wild production of “Rocky Horror Show” in March, GMCW is a one-of-a-kind chorus.”
Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington
Saturday, June 2 • 8pm • $15-50
Sunday, June 3 • 3pm • $15-50
Lisner Auditorium • The George Washington University
730 21st St. NW • Washington, DC
202.994.6800 • GMCW.org