Ten years ago, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus premiered a song cycle based on the experiences of members of the chorus with music by the SFGMC’s composer-in-residence Robert Seeley and a text by librettist and poet Philip Littell, who interviewed more than sixty members of the chorus in writing the words. The result, “NakedMan,” was the first major musical work that attempted to portray and celebrate the vast spectrum of gay life in a manner that set out to have gay hearers find immediate recognition, validation and empowerment. The original CD sold out years ago, but in celebration of the tenth anniversary of “NakedMan” and the presence of Gay Games VII in Chicago, members of the SFGMC themselves will perform select movements from this groundbreaking composition that manages, as one chorus member put it at the time, “to poignantly turn the epithets that gay chorus members had endured back to those who have thrown them.” (Dennis Polkow)
July 17 at Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington, (312) 744-6630. 12:15pm. Free.