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SOLD OUT: Debbie Reynolds & SMC bring back Golden Age
SOLD OUT: Debbie Reynolds & SMC bring back Golden Age
by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

Seattle Men's Chorus with Debbie Reynolds
March 28-29
McCaw Hall


The Seattle Men's Chorus recently performed their new concert, Singing... in the Rain as a salute to the Golden Age of Hollywood. There was no performer better chosen to have accompanied and helped the chorus achieve that goal than the indomitable Ms. Debbie Reynolds.

Starting off with the proper Hollywood musical introductions (That's Entertainment, There's No Business Like Show Business), the SMC sang several songs that helped to set the mood for the evening's entertainment and featured guest star. Following the choral lead-in of Belly Up to the Bar Boys (from Ms. Reynolds' Academy nominated performance in The Unsinkable Molly Brown), the chorus' artistic director and conductor Dennis Coleman brought out the leading lady herself.

What followed was pure, old-fashioned entertainment. Using a large-screen television for assistance, Ms. Reynolds recounted her illustrious career. Peppered with slideshow images from some of her musical movie productions: Aba Daba Honeymoon, Singin' in the Rain and Ain't Down Yet, just to name a few, this shining star sang her hits and told humorous anecdotes about her career and personal life. Liz Taylor and I are friends now, she says lightly and then adds with a Cheshire grin; We're the same age, actually I'm three months younger. The chorus joined in for the hit song Dominique, including a visual aid of infamous nuns from entertainment history. The first act concluded with a medley tribute of songs falling into the Oscar-nominated for Best Song category.

The second act opened with How the West Was Won (from the Debbie Reynolds' film by the same name) and a tribute with a western theme. The special guest star then rejoined the chorus with a medley tribute consisting of the songs of Judy Garland. I know you boys like her, Ms. Reynolds quipped easily.

Several well-placed appearances by the wonderfully acapella group Captain Smartypants added to the easily caught drift of relaxing harmonies scattered throughout the evening. The concert's climax was a rendition of Ms. Reynolds' hit single, Tammy, and of course, a finale of Singin' in the Rain.

Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Francis Reynolds and originally lived in Texas. After moving to Burbank, CA she won first prize in the Miss Burbank beauty pageant at 16 in 1948 and quickly drew attention from Hollywood studios. At 17 years of age, Ms. Reynolds proved her star quality when she co-starred with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Conner in Singin' in the Rain. With an Oscar nomination for The Unsinkable Molly Brown and a Tony Award for Irene, Ms. Reynolds continues to consistently charm, win over and entertain audiences across the nation with her cabaret and nightclub acts.

Dennis Coleman, with Eric Lane Barnes serving as assistant artistic director, currently directs the Seattle Men's Chorus. Originally founded in 1979, the SMC presented its first presentations in the 1980-81 season. In 1996 with their holiday concert, they became the first Gay Men's Chorus in the world to broadcast over the internet. In 1997, they were awarded the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album of the Year.

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