GMCLAâ€™s Latest Concert Showcases the Gay Communityâ€™s Favorite Chanteuses
‘Bette, Babs & BeyoncÃ©,’ GMCLAâ€™s 37th spring concert, spotlights the oeuvres of Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand and BeyoncÃ©, among a slew of other songstresses
APRIL 4, 2016 – BY MIKE CIRIACO
The Gay Menâ€™s Chorus Los Angeles is getting girly. This April in Glendaleâ€™s Alex Theater, Bette, Babs & BeyoncÃ©, GMCLAâ€™s 37th spring concert, spotlights the oeuvres of Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand and BeyoncÃ©, among a slew of other songstresses.
â€œGMCLA wanted to create a concert that celebrates our favorite pop divas, from Garland to Gaga, Minnelli to Madonna, Aretha to Adele,â€ says GMCLA Artistic Director Joe Nadeau. â€œGrowing up as gay men, if you could capture the soundtrack of our lives, you would find a list of songs from pop divas. Their music resonates with our life experiencesâ€”falling in love, breaking up, struggling to find our place in the world, friendships and family, overcoming obstacles, owning our uniqueness and individuality, celebrating our successes.â€
The parallel trajectories of the LGBT community and these superstars form the spine of GMCLAâ€™s concert. Spanning eight decades of popular music, Bette, Babs, & BeyoncÃ© highlights the symbiotic relationship between gays and their diva idols. Itâ€™s widely acknowledged within gay culture that the death of Garland sparked the Stonewall Riots, igniting the modern LGBT rights movement. Since then, pop stars have been some of queer cultureâ€™s most vocal proponents. In fact, at one point The Advocate coronated Madonna as our â€œGreatest Gay Icon.â€œ
â€œTheyâ€™ve supported the LGBT community since the beginning,â€œ says Nadeau. â€œThese female icons have been there for us, whether youâ€™re talking about the death of Judy Garland, Bette Midler and her humble beginnings as â€™Bathhouse Betty,â€™ Madonna pushing the envelope of LGBT equality or Lady Gaga cementing the idea that we are all â€™born this wayâ€™â€”theyâ€™ve been there for us, and with this concert we pay tribute to this amazing music.â€
The showâ€™s concept was crystallized back in 2010 when GMCLA invoked the spirit of another dominant female force, Grammy winner and LGBT activist Cyndi Lauper by performing her iconic â€œTrue Colorsâ€œ in a music video for Dan Savageâ€™s It Gets Better campaign. Their rendition quickly evolved into an anthem for the anti-bullying movement, and will be featured in this concertâ€™s lineup.
GMCLA will break new artistic ground as well, with an cappella edition of BeyoncÃ©â€™s â€œIf I Were a Boy,â€œ performed by the entirety of the 250-plus-member chorus. The number resonates strongly with Nadeau, who anticipates it will make an impact with trans audience members: â€œIn this song, BeyoncÃ© tries to work out a difficult breakup by offering what she would do differently if she â€™were a boy.â€™ By imagining herself as a different gender, this song takes on a deeper meaning in the LGBT community as we strive to honor and support the transgender community. It will be a remarkable moment in the concert.â€
Bette, Babs & BeyoncÃ©