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|Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus salutes equality struggles|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|May 25, 2012 00:00|
The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus is preparing to present “Red, White & You,” a new “mission driven” concert devoted to equality and the struggle for human rights — but not before first having a little fun at the annual Big Wig party.
The party, which this year features a fairytale theme of “Once Upon a Wig,” is set for June 2 at the former Fox Sports Grill location at Atlantic Station. Wigs are encouraged — the bigger and more elaborate, the better — with a best-wig contest as part of the festivities.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door, with those not wearing wigs paying $40. DJ Todd Skelton spins.
“I would say one of the biggest draws of this party is that it’s just that,” says Kevin Robison, AGMC artistic director. “This allows people who aren’t big concert goers to still support the chorus at an event. This is something that everyone has a great time at and all the proceeds go to the AGMC. Indirectly, it will enable us to make ‘Red, White & You’ available to more young people.”
While never stuffy, the chorus gets more serious for “Red, White & You,” a patriotic concert that nevertheless reminds audiences that all Americans are not treated equally under the law.
The concert, which debuts June 15-16 at Emory University’s Glenn Memorial Auditorium, is made more poignant by President Obama’s recent announcement that he supports allowing gay couples to marry.
“We knew it was an election year and time to do another mission-driven program. Our planning was prophetic, it turns out,” Robison says. “We plan concerts months and months in advance, and I figured that with the economy the way it is, marriage equality could easily get put on the back burner this election.
“I expected that we would simply be reminding people to not forget about it with this concert,” he says. “I had no idea things would play out this way.”
Atlanta theatre greats Freddie Ashley and Courtenay Collins will join in the show, reading excerpts from speeches and other American historical writings addressing equality, including abolition, women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement, as well as LGBT rights.
“When you think of these historic movements, events, and burning issues, they all boil down to equality,” Robison says. While he acknowledges the cliché, Robison promises the show really will offer “something for everyone.”
“You will hear everything from ‘America’ to Taylor Swift’s ‘Mean’ in this program,” he says. “It is not all patriotic music, but it is 100 percent made in America.”
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