Swing Out, Sister

For the gay community in San Francisco, a lot has happened since 1978. That was the year a rainbow flag was hoisted high and proud at the Gay Pride Parade for the very first time. Tragically, it also marked the assassination of city supervisor Harvey Milk. That night, a group of people who would become the core of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus assembled on the steps of City Hall and sang their hearts out. This clarion call against hate and intolerance became the perfect mandate to heal a community -- and what better way to do that than through bombastic orchestras, thundering canticles, and the therapeutic power of some serious harmonizing? While the chorus has since branched out from that first memorial hymn, its latest season is proof of its ability to embrace both solemnity and celebration. This year it adds a dash of playfulness and sex appeal to its 30th anniversary show, "Bump and Grind," a provocative redux of their annual cabaret production. The performance pays homage to the golden age of art deco, swing, and speakeasies. The burlesque babes of queer, all-female troupe Twilight Vixen Revue swivel their hips and pasties to the accompaniment of crowd-pleasing tunes from musicals like Chicago and Cabaret, belted out by the chorus' most prominent solo performers.
Fri., March 21, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 22, 2 & 8 p.m., 2008

 
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