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Gay Men's Chorus of LA's Holiday Concert Dec. 17 & 18 Features Melissa Manchester

Location: California, USA
Voicing: Men
The renowned Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) spices up the season with two performances of its annual holiday spectacular, “Naughty & Nice,” featuring the 200-voice chorus and special guest Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, actress and composer Melissa Manchester – hailed as an “icon” (Huffington Post) and a “heart-on-her-sleeve singer-songwriter (Toronto Sun) – Saturday, December 17, 8 pm, and Sunday, December 18, 2010, 3 pm, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.  Artistic Director E. Jason Armstrong conducts a sleighful of beautifully arranged holiday classics, sing-alongs, hand bells, and special holiday fare both humorous and poignant – replete with dazzling choreography.  The family-friendly concert opens GMCLA’s 2011-12 season, its 33rd.
 
In addition, GMCLA returns to an old tradition of holding a “Community Prelude” – a fully staged dress performance (without the guest star and fewer numbers) – on Saturday, December 17, 3 pm, at the Alex Theatre.  Community Prelude tickets are $15 general admission for all seats. 
 
Holiday spirit reigns from the first note to last with a range of classical and pop selections.  Works include Jason Robert Brown’s Chanukah Suite, Albert Hague’s Mr. Grinch, Irving Berlin’s I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, and Joyful, Joyful from the film Sister Act as well as such beloved carols as Santa Claus is Coming to Town and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  Manchester performs her hits Whenever I Call You Friend, Cradle in Bethlehem and A Mother’s Prayer.  The program also features the humorous Hanukah in Santa Monica and a tongue-in-cheek take on Handel’s Messiah delivered by GMCLA’s “Malibu Monks.”
 
Manchester, celebrating four decades of performing, has released 16 CDs, appeared in concert halls around the world and, as an actress, has graced the silver screen and small screen as well as the stage.  Among her extensive credits, Manchester wrote the musical I Sent A Letter To My Love, based on the acclaimed Bernice Rubens novel of the same name.  Manchester also co-starred with Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”), in Stephen Sondheim’s musical masterpiece Sweeney Todd at The Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, and starred in the Chicago premiere of HATS!, a new musical that contains several songs she co-wrote with Sharon Vaughn.  She also composed for Disney's The Great Mouse Detective, co-wrote the score for Lady And The Tramp II, and released her sixteenth CD, When I Look Down That Road.  Recently, nine of her songs were highlighted in the feature film Dirty Girl.  Manchester was nominated for a Grammy in 1978 and 1979 and received the Grammy Award in 1982 for Best Female Vocalist. In 1980 she became the first artist in the history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a given year -- "Through The Eyes Of Love" and "The Promise" -- and made Oscar history by performing both songs during the worldwide telecast.
                                   
GMCLA’s season continues with  “Mighty Pipes,” March 24 and 25, 2012, at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, showcasing Tony Award-winner Levi Kreis and the venue’s famed organ – the world’s largest church pipe organ.  The season concludes June 23 and 24, 2012, at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills (formerly the Wilshire Theatre) with “Fade to Blue,” the chorus’ first-ever country music program headlined by contemporary country legend and double Grammy Award-winner Leann Rimes, who has sold more then 37 million records worldwide.

Tickets range from $15 to $55 and are available online at www.gmcla.org.  For more information call (800) MEN-SING (800-636-7464).  The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard in Glendale, California.
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The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles has garnered international acclaim for artistic excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community and beyond by promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance though music.  Founded in 1979 during the emergence of the gay civil rights movement, critics have proclaimed the chorus “inspired,” “expressive, innovative, and utterly moving,” and hailed it for presenting “meaningful entertainment.”  It is one of the largest and most influential men's choirs in the nation and is the first gay men's chorus to perform for a sitting president - William Jefferson Clinton.  The 230-member choir, which has toured nationally and internationally, has released 15 compact discs, commissioned more than 300 new works and arrangements and has guest starred on such TV shows as "$#*! My Dad Says," starring William Shatner, “Will & Grace” and “Six Feet Under.”  In October 2010, it produced an anti-bullying musical video message featuring Cyndi Lauper's moving anthem “True Colors” for the “It Gets Better” project, quickly becoming a viral sensation that has received nearly 600,000 hits to date.  GMCLA, which performs at such venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Alex Theatre, and LA Theatre Center, presents several concerts each season in Los Angeles, including its popular annual holiday concert, which this past December featured country music legend LeAnn Rimes.  Additionally, GMCLA has received accolades for its “Alive Music Project” (AMP), a unique music education outreach program designed for high school and college students that uses song to create a powerful anti-LGBT bullying message and also highlights the reality that our community's struggle for equal rights is not only universal, but an issue that has and can affect any group of people who find themselves in the minority.            
 
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