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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 8, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 15
SMC's Everything Broadway an exuberant evening of Broadway tunes
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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SMC's Everything Broadway an exuberant evening of Broadway tunes

by Miryam Gordon - A&E Writer

SEATTLE MEN'S CHORUS
EVERYTHING BROADWAY
MARION OLIVER MCCAW HALL
April 2 & 3


Seattle Men's Chorus' April concert, Everything Broadway, was a delightful showcase of Broadway hits, and a solid mix of funny and moving moments. Dennis Coleman's penultimate artist program was a grab bag of old favorites and newer choices, ranging from South Pacific to Kinky Boots!

A great start to Act One, 'A Musical' from brand new hit Something Rotten gave the evening a lift off of fun, with entertaining soloists Carlos Barajas and Nathan Wilson (also the evening's choreographer and one of the main dancers) an opportunity to scoff at and then embrace musical theater.

No one could resist Captain Smartypants' rendition of 'Hello' from The Book of Mormon, a song that is probably the best musical show opening in history! And they followed that with 'Turn It Off' from the same show, with its dark overtones in a pop-fun envelope.

The whole chorus shined in a medley of 'leading men' songs, with a spectacular turn by Jeff Hu on 'Bring Him Home' from Les Miserables. Then, the end of the first act brought on guest stars the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps (R.O.T.C.) to show off their riflery on 'Strike Up the Band.'

Act Two included a silly 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' from Monty Python's Spamalot, and soloist Scott Farrell channeling Carol Channing in an antiquarian 'Hello Dolly!' A couplet from Kinky Boots, 'Not My Father's Son' and 'Raise You Up,' ended the event, followed by a rousing encore finale of 'My Strongest Suit' from Aida that again included the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps.

Inserted into the middle of the evening was a special appearance by local musical theater performer, Kirsten deLohr Helland, who sang 'I Got Rhythm,' and then a middle medley of other 'I Got' songs ingeniously fitted to the performance. Think 'I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.' Kiki, as she instructed everyone to call her, has increasingly become more assured and in command of herself as a 'star performer' over the last several years. Here, she demanded attention from thousands of people with insouciance, wit and sheer vocal power.

Dennis Coleman's final artistic performance with the Seattle Men's Chorus and Seattle Women's Chorus will be Encore!, performing at McCaw Hall on June 24 and 25 at 8:00 p.m. each night. Chorus members from past and present, from both the Seattle Men's Chorus and the Seattle Women's Chorus will join together to take a look back at a sampler of Coleman's favorite songs from the past 35 years.

Coming on board to lead the Seattle Men's Chorus' and Seattle Women's Chorus' 2016-2017 season of concerts will be SMC/SWC's new artistic director, Paul Caldwell, who officially begins his new duties in August. Caldwell most recently worked in Chicago and headed the Windy City Gay Chorus and Treble Quire. He has worked with youth choruses for 20 years and is one of the U.S.'s most-performed choral music composers.

Since 2001 he has also served as artistic director for the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago, a community-based after-school program enrolling 200 young people in Chicago's northern suburbs. Chicago is likely going to miss him terribly as we celebrate our opportunity to experience his leadership!

In a Seattle Lesbian interview with Caldwell, he detailed a visit he made incognito to an SMC show in December. 'When 350-plus guys entered the room singing, I heard power and purpose. It was thrilling. I was so happy to be there, my eyes welled up. Even if I hadn't been asked to be their artistic director, I'll always remember that moment.'

Welcome, Paul, to our Emerald City and we look forward to the continued strength of the SMC and SWC future performances!

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