By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor
San Diego Women’s Chorus brings the Great White Way to San Diego
On the heels of their successful Broadway Cabaret show, performed by a smaller troupe of singers April 17 at the Irenic in North Park, the entire San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC) is now ready for their close up.
The “really big show” as Ed Sullivan used to say, is SDWC’s annual spring concert, this year called “Broadway, Our Way,” with special guest Frenchie Davis, and held Sunday, May 17 at Downtown’s Balboa Theatre.
This Broadway-song themed extravaganza will feature songs from a large variety of Broadway hits and lesser-known songs that gelled with the women of the chorus.
“Instead of just doing a bunch of fun show tunes, we wanted to do things that were more reflective of the women in our chorus and the things we experience in life,” said Artistic Director Kathleen Hansen.
Some of the numbers include a medley from “Wicked,” Funny Girl’s classic, “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Children Will Listen,” from “Into the Woods” — which was just made even more popular with an Acadamy Award-nominated musical — “Dancing Queen” by Abba, and many more. Organizers expect each of the choices, which they say will take attendees “on a journey through love, loss, trials and triumphs,” will also be full of exciting surprises.
The previous cabaret show, though it featured solos and small ensembles instead of the complete chorus, still acted as the perfect precursor to the Balboa Theatre show and got everyone in the right frame of mind.
Last year, SDWC joined forces with San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) — a local philanthropic nonprofit — for their “Songs of Protest, Songs of Peace” spring show with the Indigo Girls in May of 2014. It was the first time the chorus had performed on the Balboa Theatre stage, unlike the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, who have held residency there for years.
“Songs of Protest, Songs of Peace” was such a success, the two organizations are at it again, returning to the historic Balboa stage.
As was the case last year, the co-benefactor is SDHDF’s Lesbian Health Initiative. Money from last year’s proceeds helped fund two programs dedicated to both the health and the quality of life of women in the local LGBT community.
The SDWC consists of nearly 100 women singing in various levels of alto or soprano, aged from 13 – 76, both straight and gay, and from all ethnicities and backgrounds. Many have been singing together since the chorus’ inception, 28 years ago.
Grammy-nominated Frenchie Davis first sang her way into people’s hearts as a contestant on Fox’s American Idol. She later appeared as a finalist on NBC’s The Voice and has starred on Broadway in “RENT,” “Dreamgirls,” “Ain’t Misbehaving,” and more.
“As with our concert last spring, ‘Songs of Protest, Songs of Peace’ with the Indigo Girls, we are thrilled to have a special guest that is the perfect fit for both the theme and the cause,” said Board President Heather Robert in a press release. “Obviously, Frenchie Davis’ vocal talent is astounding and she’s going to bring the house down, but what makes her the perfect special guest for this event is the way she uses her voice when she’s off stage to speak up for justice and equality for women, people in the LGBT community and people of color.”
The San Diego Women’s Chorus will perform “Broadway, Our Way,” live with Frenchie Davis, at 7 p.m., Sunday, May 17 at the Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Tickets range from $25 – $105, and are available through Ticketmaster or at sdwc.org. A limited number of VIP tickets — which include choice seating and admittance to the after-show reception at the Hard Rock Café across the street — are available by calling 619-291-3383.
—Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at email@example.com.