Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida Presents Radiant Holiday Concert

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It’s almost impossible to get two queens to agree to anything, so imagine how much work it is to get 125 of them to sing the same song at the same time. Yet, the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida (GMCSF), which, in reality, is the Gay Men’s Choruses, since GMCSF merged with the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, all volunteered to put in hours of work and by doing so, they created a magical holiday cheer-filled evening with “Celebrate the Holidays” at Hard Rock Live on Dec. 13.

The show featured a mixture of classical and liturgical music with secular pop songs. Having been brought up in a non-religious household, my eyes usually glaze over during the liturgical pieces, although they are beautiful, they hold no meaning for me. However, Aaron Lauer’s solo (the first of many by chorus members that evening, each quite impressive in their own way) to “Let All Mortal Flesh”, certainly grabbed my attention. Other solo numbers included Rogelia Snyder’s moving rendition of ‘Esta Noche”, Johnathan Sanz’s campy “Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man for Christmas”, and Rafael Gragert's pious “Mary, Did You Know?” Each one was truly stellar.

Guest star Amber Riley (of “Glee” fame), shone in her solo numbers, “The Christmas Song”, “O Holy Night”, “Silver Bells”, and “Joy to the World”. She interacted well with the chorus and had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand. No wonder GMCSF artistic director Gabe Salazar (looking spiffy in a sparkling tux jacket) called her, “My new BFF.”

From time to time during the show, a member would come downstage to relate what the chorus meant to them, and the recurring theme was that of belonging to a family. My best friend was a founding member of Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and I know that feeling runs throughout many choruses. A family they might be, but occasionally you must tell your family members “No.”

That should have been the case with the GMCSF “Dancers.” I put dancers in quotation marks, because most of them couldn’t, although they weren’t served well by the clunky choreography or the ill-fitting, unflattering costumes, either. My mother once said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” They were enthusiastic and it sure looked like they worked hard.

Still, that was a minor low point for an evening filled with highs. Bravo to the chorus for more than just a nod to its Jewish fans by including four Hanukkah songs, including Tom Lehrer’s hysterical “Hanukkah in Santa Monica”. The show was repeated at Sunshine Cathedral on Dec. 16, without guest performer Amber Riley.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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