Channing To Carol With Jerry's Boys March 16

News   Channing To Carol With Jerry's Boys March 16
 
The Gay Men's Chorus is the only group of people who sing Hello, Dolly! in my key"--that key, of course, being C--so count on Carol Channing to join the chorus' salute to Dolly composer Jerry Herman at Carnegie Hall on March 16.
Members of The Gay Men's Chorus with Jerry Herman
Members of The Gay Men's Chorus with Jerry Herman Photo by Photo by Michael Wakefield.

The Gay Men's Chorus is the only group of people who sing Hello, Dolly! in my key"--that key, of course, being C--so count on Carol Channing to join the chorus' salute to Dolly composer Jerry Herman at Carnegie Hall on March 16.

Jerry's Boys, as the concert is called, also features Laurie Beechman, Ruth Messinger and members of The Imperial Court in addition to previously announced guest stars like Tony winners Bebe Neuwirth and Debbie Gravitte.

The 185-voice chorus will be featured in such Herman ditties as "Shalom," "Just Go to the Movies," "Loving You," "Before the Parade Passes By," "Wherever He Ain't," "Mame" and "Song on the Sand." The composer himself will join the group for the finale: Grand Tour's uplifting "I'll Be Here Tomorrow."

"Penny in My Pocket" and "La Cage Aux Folles" will be performed by Lee Roy Reams, and Tony winner George Hearn will do the La Cage number that has become a gay anthem, "I Am What I Am." Other guest star shots include "Marianne" (George Dvorsky), "Time Heals Everything" (Debbie Gravitte), "Almost Young" (Eartha Kitt) and "If He Walked Into My Life" (Beth Fowler).

A portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit NYCGMC's AIDS Outreach Program. Tickets range from $10 to $45. (Patron seats are $75.) For information and reservations, call CarnegieCharge at 212 247-7800. Born in NYC, Herman had his first Broadway hit in 1961 with Milk And Honey, followed by 1964's Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Dear World, Mack & Mabel, The Grand Tour and La Cage Aux Folles (1983). The latter, adapted from the French film comedy, concerned two middle-aged gay men forced to hide their lifestyle for the sake of a son's marriage. The show's signature tune, "I Am What I Am," is considered a gay anthem and a landmark moment marking the acceptance of sympathetic, overtly gay characters on Broadway.

Herman's long-awaited autobiography, Showtune, A Memoir, was recently published by Donald I. Fine Books. For more information on the book's release, please see Playbill On-Line's story, "Herman Sings Show Tunes While Celebrating Showtune." Not only is Herman expected at the benefit, but according to Zeisler Group spokesperson Ron Lasko, he's helping coordinate and choose songs for the event.

Jerry's Boys will be the Chorus' second production of their 17th season. Their next will be the premiere of a new music/theatre piece titled, "Naked Men."

A portion of the proceeds from the Carnegie Hall concert will go to benefit the NYC Gay Men's Chorus AIDS Outreach Program. For tickets ($10-$45) and information call (212) 247-7800.

--By David Lefkowitz and Harry Haun

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