Bringing In The Holiday Season With A Big Gay Show

Bringing In The Holiday Season With A Big Gay Show

Reviewing the Snowbound concert by North Coast Gay Men's Chorus.

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The North Coast Gay Men's Chorus (NCMC) bought the Christmas 2018 season in with a concert on December first at the Hanna Theatre in Playhouse Square. I received a free ticket due to their outreach to local Gay Straight Alliances on college campuses. I had never been to one of their formal concerts — I've only seen them perform at Cleveland Gay Pride Festivals.

The theater was packed with people in floor seats while I didn't see too many people in balcony seats. As with any show there, people partook of the cash bar, and many people were dressed up in expensive fancy clothing for the evening.

I was surprised at just how many men were in the choir, it looked to be 100 men on that stage but it was actually only 74 — not including the director, two pianists, and three American Sign Language interpreters, and a man playing the double bass. The choir performed 25 songs, with 10 solo performances, three dancing and singing numbers, and a 15 minute intermission.

I used to be part of a Gospel choir at Cleveland State University back in 2003-2004, so I know the tremendous amount of work it takes to remember lyrics of songs during concerts, yet these men had to remember so much more and did it without looking like they broke any sweat over it. They kept the show going through two performance time slots that day, wardrobe malfunctions, and paying respect to their executive director, retiring after 11 years of service. Through it all, there weren't shy about interacting with fans, guests, and hanging out with those of us from the Gay Straight Alliances during Intermission.

I was happy to see quite a few men I knew personally from the Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays Support Group (PFLAG).

All the choir had beautiful angelic voices, but the 10 solo numbers were really something. Marc R. Copler who sang
“Please Come Home For Christmas” blew the audience away with his solo — he seriously needs to either audition for American Idol or pursue a solo singing career!

The “Insubordinate Claus” and “Reindeer Tango” skits were hysterical. One was about the reindeer going on strike because Santa was busy on social media, didn't recognize some of the reindeers different religious practices, and kept getting Blitzen's name wrong. The other was Mrs. Claus fed up with Santa giving presents and affection to other women and declaring how she'll be looking for someone new.

The handwork that the Coastliners of the choir performed during their first skit “Snowfall” was mesmerizing and entertaining. The audience was generally impressed with their chorus line dance-like routine. Plus since I'm a fan of snow in general, having the crew sprinkle snow down the front stage during certain numbers enhanced my enjoyment of the show that much more.

I definitely look forward to seeing more of their concerts in the future. This concert not only started the Christmas season but also started their concert season of 2019. Their next concert will be their 10th Annual “Mardi Gras” on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Windows On The River in the Powerhouse of The Flats.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Fyre Festival Musical Disaster

A look at what happened in the Hulu and Netflix documentaries.

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I first heard about Fyre right after it happened because a vlogger, Mark Dohner, posted it on his YouTube channel. He stated that he had considered going, but in the end, didn't. Now I haven't heard about this festival since then, so I was surprised to hear that Netflix and Hulu were both doing documentaries on this, more than a year after it happened

About two weeks ago, Netflix and Hulu almost simultaneously released different documentaries about the 2017 disaster that was Fyre Festival. For anyone who doesn't know, Fyre was supposed to be a grand music festival in Great Exuma, an island in the Bahamas, and was supposed to be the next Coachella. Tickets ran as much as a few hundred to a couple hundred thousand dollars and included food, a villa or luxury tent, and access to bands such as blink 182, G.O.O.D. Music, Major Lazer, and many more.

It took about six months to put the Fyre festival together. From the documentaries, it seemed like, in the beginning, all of their advertising was on Instagram. Pages would post the same orange photo and would either have the tag for the Frye page or it would be the promo video. The video featured various models, from Bella Hadid to Hailey Baldwin/Bieber, having a good time in the Bahamas. For people scrolling through their Instagram pages, seeing all of these orange posts and videos of what the festival was supposed to look and be like, of course, they sold out. Not only did they sell out, but they also sold more tickets than they had room.

During this time, they didn't have an island to hold the festival, because they were told to not have the festival on the original island from the promo video, didn't have enough villas to hold people, and had to build everything from scratch. In the Hulu documentary, it was touched on that this should have taken a year to a year and a half to do, but the festival was less than six months away. When it came time for the festival, it was a disaster. The luxury tents were old hurricane relief tents, there were no music acts, there wasn't much of anything. In the end, almost no one was paid for their work, and even the employees working at the festival weren't correctly paid.

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While both of the documentaries are on the same topic, they're both slightly different. Hulu gave more of an overview and an interview Billy McFarland, the main man in charge, whereas Netflix seemed more in depth leading up to and the aftermath of the festival, as well as interviews with more people who took part of putting the festival together, including the residents of Great Exumas who helped. I thought it was interesting to hear about the festival from Billy's perspective, although it seemed like he was mostly defending himself. Both documentaries touched on how Billy continuously lied to his staff and investors about money. I liked the Netflix one slightly more, but they were both well done.

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