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by joel martens

FRESH OFF THEIR GALA CHORUS FESTIVAL tour in Colorado, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) eleven-voice ensemble, The Mood Swings are set to bring down the house with a collection of Cole Porter’s best-known and loved music. Unique in that he usually wrote both the lyrics and the music for his

works, Cole Porter is one of the most prolific songwriters of our time and responsible for some of America’s most beloved music. His early years writing on Broadway (pre-1920) brought him limited success, so he travelled to Paris to explore his options. It was there that his “lavish” Parisian lifestyle allowed him to comfortably explore his attraction to men (having lots of cash didn’t hurt either). Porter was an original “party boy,” known for his ostentatious soirées, featuring pretty much “everything under the sun!” It was also during that period he met and married Linda Lee Thomas, who knew of Porter’s homosexuality, but the marriage suited both of their needs and they stayed together until her death in 1954. His return to Broadway in the ‘20s and ‘30s brought Porter to the fore-

front of American musical theatre. His first commercial success Paris, for which he wrote two of his best-known songs, “Let’s Misbehave” and “Let’s Do It,“ with their unabashed sexual overtones, was considered very risqué—a moniker that would follow his musical creations. From

this point on his accomplishments are long and varied, with ups and downs, yet no one can ever say that it wasn’t a complete and last- ing success. His cadre of classics is familiar to most: “Love for Sale,” “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “Begin the Be- guine,” “Just One of Those Things,” “You’d Be So Easy to Love,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “In the Still of the Night,” “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” “So In Love”, “Too Darn Hot,” “Always True to You (in My Fashion),” “C’est Magnifique,” and “It’s All Right with Me.” There is so much more… he even wrote the song, “Don’t Fence Me In” which be- came a hit for Roy Rogers, Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters! The voices that have sung

these classics are endless… and you will have the chance to hear some of those timeless tunes again as SDGMC’s Mood Swings bring a select set of his melodies to the Lyceum stage. Benny Cartwright, the new executive director for the SDGMC told me,

“The concert comprises of some of his most well-known music and some of his more obscure as well. It will be funny, exciting, sexy and comical, exploring Cole Porter and how he was in his musical life—it promises to be a great show.” Of his recent move to the SDGMC and his goals for the organization;

“I really want to see the chorus grow, it’s comprised of an outstanding group of musicians and I would like to of course, help build our budget, so we can showcase that talent. I would also like to see the chorus do more outreach in the community, there are 140 to 170 guys who get together to not only sing, but also to share and socialize. There is a great opportunity for outreach, which can show the larger community who we really are and that can bring change.” Just back from his first trip with the chorus to Denver, “The big GALA

festival in Denver was great, it was my first experience seeing how large the Gay Choral movement really was. There were over 6,000 musicians; it gave me the chance to see how much music can influence lives. There was happy, positive energy and there were so many stories about how music changes and influenced the member’s lives, it made me realize how huge it really is and what we can potentially do with that power.”

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus’s eleven-voice ensemble The Mood Swings will perform Let’s Misbehave at the Lyceum Theatre, in Horton Plaza Downtown, from Friday, August 24 through Sunday, August 26. For Tickets and more information call 877.296.7664 or go to


RAGE monthly | AUGUST 2012

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