The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus presents “No Rest for the Wicked” this weekend, but tickets are sold out for all but the Saturday matinee performance of the show that features songs from the hit musical and the debut of the AGMC Women’s Chorus Project.
“No Rest for Wicked” focuses on the music of composer Stephen Schwartz. The third most successful Broadway musical ever, “Wicked” is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” and tells the story behind the “Wizard of Oz” character.
The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus has communicated with Schwartz in the planning of the performance, Artistic Director Kevin Robison explains on the AGMC website.
But that’s not the only special thing about this weekend’s performance. The shows — set for 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at the 14th Street Playhouse — feature the debut of the AGMC Women’s Chorus Project.
Rehearsals for the female singing group began in January, although plans for a women’s chorus have been in the works since the AGMC acquired the assets of the now-defunct Atlanta Feminist Women’s Chorus.
In a blog, Robison describes the moving moment when the men’s chorus first heard the women’s chorus perform. It happened earlier this month as the men took a break from their practice so that the women could rehearse how they would enter, perform and exit during the show.
“Our small vocal ensemble sang two lines that introduce the women: ‘One short day in the Emerald City, One short day in the Emerald City…’ and the rhythm kicked in,” Robison wrote. “The women owned the entrance with enthusiasm and joy, and what followed was just stunning.
“And if there was any doubt whether we’d chosen the right piece to launch this ensemble, it disappeared. Wicked‘s ‘One Short Day’ delivered.
“The women sang of their temporary visit to our land of Oz and a resounding commitment to return for good someday — and that is exactly what we hope will happen next season with an ensemble to become known as the Atlanta Women’s Chorus.”
The women’s chorus is conducted by Dr. Melissa T. Arasi.
Other upcoming events for the AGMC include the June 15 debut of Big Gay Sing, held at Jungle nightclub. Songs will include “gay standards of yesterday and today,” with lyrics projected onto screens so that audience members can sing along.
The chorus summer concert, “Singing Out Proud: Living the Legacy,” will celebrate three decades of the chorus. It is set for June 28-29.
For more information about the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, please click here.
(Photo by Brent Corcoran / RNZ Photography)