Friday, July 8, 2011
review - GMCLA's Totally 80s
...our 80s Show
Usually wild, unbridled and cutting edge, as with last year's Avalon outing L'Amour, GMCLA pulled back somewhat this year in TOTALLY...our 80s Show with more subdued, straightforward staging. Always vocally superior, the chorus sounded its usual best essaying the unforgettable hits of the 80s and showing the pop icons and news events of that time period on three screens throughout. Under the new executive direction of Thom Lynch and with guest conductor Andres Cladera, the 200 plus chorus were dress gaily in a mix of cowboy, indian, leather with appropriate headgear, including brightly colored wigs, that distinguished the late seventies and eighties. Vocal selections included those of Sting, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Paul Jabara, the Pointer Sisters, the Weather Girls, Annie Lenox, Cyndi Lauper, and Michael and Leslie Gore, among others.
Highlights included: "Shout", "I Want To Know What Love Is", "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)", "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and a great dance medley to end Act I, which contained "Express Yourself", "Holding Out for a Hero" and "It's Raining Men", a favorite Weather Girls hit with the men sashaying, umbrellas in hand. The second half began with a rousing "I'm So Excited", followed by "Thriller", "Out Here on My Own", an incredibly harmonious and beautiful "We Belong", by David Lowen and Daniel Navarro and arranged by Michael Alfera and as encore the jolting "I Wanna Dance with Somebody". The Solid Gold 'Motions provided sizzling dance moments throughout the show, and the video screen was most riveting in Tim Atzinger's video to accompany "It's the End of the World As We Know It". Effective use was made of the space as chorus members danced and paraded about the center runway and sang divided for some tunes into three groups: on the stage and on two balcony terraces stage left and stage right.
This was certainly a colorful two hours with great music as performed by the best chorus in Los Angeles.
Let's hope their brilliantly imaginative staging is back once again in the Christmas concert in December at the Alex. It's always the best singing Holiday show in town! And don't miss the Hairspray Sing-a-long at Hollywood Forever on Sunday, July 31!