Love Bites and So Did the 80s, Mission Cultural Center, February 10 & 11, 2012.
Hello my chorus family. If you will indulge me I would like to share a bit more of our history aside from our shows. As I was trying to get to sleep a couple of nights ago I was wondering what more I can put in this history blog. We were having dinner with a friend on Lakeshore in Oakland recently and I remarked that the chorus had sung in the nearby Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church as guests of Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus several times during Oakland Pride. That got me to thinking about all of the venues too numerous to name that have welcomed us to put on our concerts. We have sung in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Los Altos, Modesto, and at GALA Festivals in Seattle, Denver (3 times), San Jose, Tampa, Montreal, and Miami. I have wonderful memories of all of these. And now Love Bites.
Once again we were back at the Mission Cultural Center for our 9th annual anti-Valenine's Day cabaret. This was our way of keeping that sappy, lovey-dovey, schmaltzy Hallmark holiday in check. How do you remember the 80s? It was a decade of big hair and big shoulders, synthesizers, Sony walkmans and early CD players. For this show we had our wonderful choreographer Michael Mohammed and guest soloist, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy.
The show began with an 80s Dance Party Medley which included "Flashdance," "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," "I Love Rock n' Roll," "Total Eclipse of the Heart." "Let's Hear It For the Boy," (with new lyrics) "Material Girl," (one of our tenors Alvin Thomas rocked this one) and "Footloose." Next was "If I Had a Hammer" with lyrics deranged by Yolanda DeByle. Tom McElroy next sang "I Think We're Alone Now" followed by Scott Turco singing "Only in My Dreams." Next Janice Placido performed "Heaven is a Place on Earth" and next Katya sang Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Next up Daniel Lyons sang another Cyndi song "Time After Time" and this was followed by Wendy Tobias singing ABBA's "Winner Takes It All." Certainly no 80s show would be complete with an ABBA song. Next was a duet with Jade Miller and Andrew Field singing "All Out of Love." Michael Mohammed was next with Tina's "What's Love Got To Do With It?" and the chorus backed up Dale Danley singing "Love Bites" and we ended the first act with a Bon Jovi tribute singing "Livin' on a Prayer" and "You Give Love a Bad Name."
One thing I have to put in before getting to Act 2. This was when Whitney Houston had died and we had a big heart onstage with our message of love for her.
We began Act 2 with the chorus singing a medley of TV show theme songs. This was lots of fun for us. First was "Everywhere You Look" from "Full House." Some of the chorus produced a video of this song with shots of the house from Alamo Square Park. Next was "Brand New Life" from "Who's the Boss," then "As Long As We Got Each Other" from "Growing Pains." We ended the medley with "Thank You for Being a Friend" from "The Golden Girls" and this also included a video with four of us as Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia - what a hoot.
Next came a Family Feud skit with Katya Smirnoff-Skyy as hostess. We invited members of the audience to participate in this game show skit and this was lots of fun and there were prizes.
Mary Cantrell then sang "Every Breath You Take" and she rocked it and this was by Paul Michael Alves putting his take on "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" by Eurhythmics. And then Jim Oerther performed with a striptease the song "Tainted Love" and was it ever tainted. This was followed by Howard Miller singing what we called "The Hello Medley" featuring songs with "hello" in their title. Next came Katya leading us in "True Colors" and this featured a video of pictures of our chorus angels as we remembered them and sang "you are beautiful like a rainbow."
The chorus ended the show a tribute to Michael Jackson where we sang and danced to these songs:
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Bad," "Beat It," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and of course "Thriller" with Jason LeBrun as soloist. We all had a blast putting this show together through lots of hard work at rehearsals and then onstage in front of a very appreciative audience.
Next week will be all about Rainbows and Leprechauns: A St. Patty's Day Cabaret.
Cheers, Michael Lucero