Under the talented leadership of Artistic Director Thea Kano, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC has been entertaining the DC Metropolitan area for decades. Known for their witty and creative ensemble performances, the group chose the iconic Judy Garland as the subject of their most recent concert, Judy, a delightful cabaret tribute.
While fewer performers were involved in this cabaret than in a typical CMCW concert, there was still plenty of glitz — and who can resist red sequins on a black stage? Each performer brought to the stage their own personal connection to a Garland song, accompanied by a jazz trio with Ephriam Wolfolk on bass, Mark Carson on drums, and music director and cabaret pianist Alex Tang.
Oddly enough, the highlight of the show for me was not “Over the Rainbow,” as one might expect. Instead, I found the best performance in the Garland/Streisand duet, “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again,” wonderfully and powerfully sung by Michael Dumlao and Jamie Hillis. Their rendition was show-stopping. Another stellar performer was Gabriel Lopez, whose rendition of “The Man That Got Away” was simply stunning. Honorable mention goes to Ellery Rhodes, who sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with a lovely tone and sentiment.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Judy Garland’s birth. She was an emblematic performer, with personality and talent on a grand scale, contained in a four-foot-eleven-inch package. Fifty years after her death, her legacy certainly lives on. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC’s cabaret tribute showed us that the rainbow still shines bright.
Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission.
Judy: A cabaret celebrating the music of Judy Garland played one night only on October 22, 2022, presented by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC performing at The Vault, Capital One Hall, 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons, VA.
For information about future performances see GMCW’s 2022/23 season calendar.
Judy: A cabaret celebrating the music of Judy Garland
Director/Artistic Director: Thea Kano
Pianist/Music Director: Alex Tang
Percussion: Mark Carson
Bass: Ephriam Wolfolk
Jonathan Chaffin – “A Foggy Day (in London Town)”
Chuck Willett – “Hello, Bluebird”
Adam Edgerton – “Come Rain or Come Shine”
Rinaldo Martinez – “The Trolley Song”
Rob Hall – “Smile”
Ellery Rhodes – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Zachary Barger – “Maybe This Time”
Giancarlo D’Elia – “It Never Was You”
Michael Aylward – “Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”
Michael Dumlao & Jamie Hillis – “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again”
Jarrod Bennett – “Over the Rainbow”
Gabriel Lopez – “The Man That Got Away”
Kevin Thomason – “By Myself”