|Seattle Men's Chorus welcomes Armistead Maupin to Benaroya
Live Sex Onstage! Live Nude Men!
Naughty Bits! Has the Seattle Men's Chorus taken a new and decidedly more
controversial approach to its upcoming Tunes From Tales (Music for Mouse) concert
at Benaroya Hall on March 13 & 14?
It wouldn't be the first time that author Armistead Maupin's
wildly popular Tales of the City series has found itself at the center of
When PBS broadcast the adaptation of the first book in the
series, fundamentalists from coast to coast were outraged by the show's realistic
presentation of life in San Francisco in the 70s (which included nudity, pot smoking and a
long, loving kiss between two male characters). They threatened boycotts, leading the
network to bow out of plans for a sequel.
Artistic Director Dennis Coleman laughs, "Some of the
passages that Armistead will read in Tunes from Tales are a little racy." He
continues, "The story begins in San Francisco in the seventies, and Armistead's
characters are nothing if not realÉthey experience everything that the decade had
Tunes from Tales indeed takes the Chorus on a new
adventure, blending live acting, music and the author himself, reading selections from his
best-selling Tales of the City.
"We wanted to create a compelling show that would
serve as both an introduction to the characters for the uninitiated and a revisiting of
old friends for Armistead's fans," Coleman said. "The wonderful thing about
Armistead's novels is that they resonate far beyond the Gay community. The appeal is
universal, I think, because we can all see glimpses of people we know or have known in his
beautifully crafted characters, and that familiarity is very comforting. Plus, he weaves a
tale that's so fun and interesting that you can't wait to turn the page."
SMC will accompany the author with songs fans know and love
from the time of the stories, including old favorites like "San Francisco";
"Que Sera, Sera"; "Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys",
and "Home" (from The Wiz). In addition, Chorus members will re-enact
scenes from the books, including the jockey shorts contest that Mouse finds himself
competing in to raise money for his rent.
"This is a new concept for us, and one that I'm sure
the audience will love as much as we do," Coleman said. In Coupeville, one of the
Chorus members will read Maupin's words, but Seattle audiences will enjoy the author's own
Maupin travels extensively reading selections from works
new and old. Those lucky enough to see him last year when Emerald City Arts presented him
in Writing My Way Out know he's a master at bringing his characters to life in a
staged reading. For those of you who missed that opportunity, Tunes From Tales (Music
for Mouse) is a chance to see your favorite Chorus in action and find out why so many
people have embraced the likes of Mrs. Madrigal, Mary Ann Singleton, Mona, and of course,
Michael Tolliver Ð "Mouse" to his friends.
About Tunes from Tales, Maupin says "This is
the first time a production like this - combining music and my work - has ever been done,
and I'm thrilled for the opportunity. I've admired the Seattle Men's Chorus production
values from afar, especially their show with Harvey Fierstein, and this really struck me
as a logical pairing. Besides, I love being a big ham, and the emotional resonance that
the music will give the material only makes the event more exciting for me.
Tickets to Tunes From Tales (Music for Mouse) for
the March 7, 3:00 p.m. performance in Coupeville at the Coupeville Performing Arts Center
are $10 to $25. For tickets and information, contact 360-678-4515. This concert is a
benefit for the Whidbey AIDS Support Fund.
Tickets for Tunes From Tales (Music for Mouse) at
Benaroya Hall, March 13 at 8pm and March 14 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., range from $12.50
to $30 and are available through the SMC Ticketline at (206) 323-2992, Ticketmaster at
(206) 292-ARTS or any Ticketmaster outlet.
Week At Thumpers
Mary Lofstrom will grace Sunday Evening
Local jazz vocalist and
composer Mary Lofstrom will be performing at Thumper's Sunday Evening Cabaret for the
month of March (March 7, 14, 21, 28). Mary moved to Seattle from Minnesota in 1990 and
brought her talent to the local jazz, R&B, and blues scene. She has studied jazz voice
locally with internationally renowned vocalist Jay Clayton. She has performed at many
local venues presenting both her own original music and jazz standards.
In 1977, she released her first CD, entitled My Secret
Joy, with all original compositions performed by her trio, the Saint Mathias Trio. Her
songwriting is laced with humor, heartbreak and irreverence.
For these performances she will be accompanied by Kyle Aho.
For a fun evening of jazz aimed at the Lesbian and Gay community, don't miss this
opportunity to hear a wonderful jazz vocalist in a Gay and Lesbian venue.
Don Carey starts the show at 7 p.m. with popular and jazz
standards on the piano. Mary Lofstrom performs at 9 p.m. For cocktail or dinner
reservations call Thumper's at 328-3800.