Feb. 17, 2014 — The often-complex relationship between fathers and sons — gay and otherwise — is explored in the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus’ next iteration of choral theatre for six special performances Thursday through Sunday, March 27-30. In the premiere of When I Was Your Age real-life stories from the members of the AGMC are woven with music in a multimedia event that celebrates the love, challenges and bonds that exist in these special and sometimes tenuous relationships. Once again, the AGMC offers a dramatic performance you can’t experience anywhere else!Buy tickets now!
For more than a year, members of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus have been reflecting on their personal relationships with their fathers and writing about them. Running the gamut from sweet memories to nightmare scenarios, disowning, acceptance, loss and love, these emotionally raw and sometimes funny snapshots of life have been woven together with a wide range of music from genres ranging from Broadway to country, pop and rock. Even an original song by Weird Al Yankovic, the title song of the production, evokes a common reaction to seemingly exaggerated stories fathers tell their sons.
The stories, music and deeply moving performances by members of the AGMC — a group well-known for its range of theatrical as well as singing talent — are further enhanced by multimedia projection designed specifically for the show.
“This show has truly been a labor of love for the chorus,” said Kevin Robison, now in his seventh year as AGMC artistic director. “As with our premiere of Shaken, Not Heard: Stories of Gay Men, Faith and Reconciliation, which dealt with the complex relationship between gay men and organized religion, this production taps into the deep experiences and emotions of chorus members to tell a compelling, thought-provoking and ultimately entertaining tale.”
Robison noted that “We’ve worked hard to keep a sense of humor when it comes to dealing with such intense material. But like movies, sometimes you also want a good drama. I’m happy to say that what might have turned out to be Dead Poet’s Society is more like Steel Magnolias.”
The Fabrefaction Theatre in the thriving area of West Midtown will serve as the perfect location for the premiere of this unique new work. The wide stage allows for the AGMC’s 100-plus singers, but the limited seating of 180 means there’s not a bad seat in the house.
“Our audience will really connect with these stories in such an intimate space,” Robison said. “The back of the house isn’t more than 10 rows away from the stage. It will draw the audience into the power of the stories and the music.”
The book, written by AGMC singing member Christopher Repotski and Robison, takes little license with the stories submitted by chorus members, remaining as true to life as possible.
“There are probably no more than three significant moments of dramatic license that we took in retelling these stories,” Repotski recalled. “Our job was in shaping, editing and getting to the essence of each. When it came to choosing which stories to use, we also had to consider which musical works were available and appropriate to each moment.”
Robison added that “We wanted to observe as many rules of musical theatre as possible, including propelling the thru-line along without having songs that simply retell or comment on stories through the lyrics. The more of these kinds of shows we create, the more seamless they are, and I think we’ve really reached our stride with this this one.”
While the AGMC prides itself in presenting a diverse array of material that can be enjoyed by persons of all ages, the authors point out that “By its very nature, some of the material in this production contains adult themes and language, and may not be suitable for children under 13 years of age. However, the themes of struggle, acceptance and love are always suitable for everyone to hear and embrace.”
Because of the intimate size of the theatre, the AGMC will present six performances of When I Was Your Age rather than its usual three. The work is presented in one act with a running time of about 70 minutes. “This is just too powerful of a new piece for us not to enable as many people as possible to see it,” Robison stated. “The men of the chorus are very proud of this production and are eager to put in the extra effort to present it in this exceptional new space.”
Curtain times: Thursday, March 27 @ 8 p.m., Friday, March 28 @ 8 p.m., Saturday, March 29 @ 2, 5 & 8 p.m., Sunday, March 30 @ 2 p.m.
The Fabrefaction Theatre is conveniently located just off Howell Mill Road and 10th Street in the heart of West Midtown, surrounded by some of the finest restaurants, art galleries and shopping in the city.
Seating is $25 for general admission, and patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets well in advance. Tickets are available through the chorus’ website or by calling the AGMC office at (404) 320-1030.
Through the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and the Atlanta Women’s Chorus, Voices of Note, Inc. presents entertaining and thought-provoking performances that appeal to a diverse audience and promote equality for all people.
The AGMC was established in 1981 and is today one of the world’s longest-running all-male choruses. The AWC was launched by the AGMC in 2013. Both choruses are members of GALA, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses.
Voices of Note is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The GCA also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Other support comes from theMetropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
Voices of Note’s 2013-14 season is produced by Atlanta Magazine and Smirnoff. Other supporting organizations include Macy’s, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, St. Mark United Methodist Church, Ameriprise Financial, Brandon D Hunt Design, Dan Lax Media, Highrises.com, Peachtree Battle Chiropractic, C4 Belts, Radial Café, Saks Fifth Avenue, Southwest Airlines, Steinway Piano Galleries and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. A complete listing of financial supporters — and how you can support the mission of the two choruses — can be found at voicesofnote.org.