Karen Hauge | KCMetropolis.org
Possibly the most FABULOUS addition to this year’s Fringe Festival, Heartland Men’s Chorus’s Big Gay Sing! brings the audience into the action with a big-screen projection of each and every wonderful word of all the anthemic pop songs they perform. The audience is encouraged to— nay, almost shamed into— singing along, by songstress drag queen Daisy Buckët and her friend Summer Tryst, which is not a difficult task when you consider the material the audience gets to sing. The works of Journey, ABBA, Meghan Trainor, and more feature in this musical extravaganza that got the whole room on their feet and partying along with HMC.
HMC and artistic director Dustin S. Cates stuck to simple arrangements with two- or three-part harmonies, a strong choice in the somewhat odd performance space of City Stage. The chorus had a blast, each man bringing a bag of props along to send the crowd into giggles with every appearance of sunglasses, feather boas, cowboy hats, or wigs. The best use of these props was definitely Stay Tuned!, a medley of popular TV show theme songs; I mean, the Brady Bunch theme song is funny enough on its own, but add wigs and a recreation of the opening Hollywood Squares-style shot and you’re sure to have a room full of people clutching their bladders and praying for control.
Pop anthems like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “It’s Raining Men” were surely memorable, but it was the appropriately wacked-out rendition of “Time Warp” that will stick in my brain forever. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a nearly full house of casually dressed suburbanites jump to their feet and do the pelvic thrust with absolutely no provocation. Daisy’s “All About That Bass” restored my interest in that song completely, and the riotous disco medley that closed the show had us all on our feet again and dancing out of the theater.
KC Fringe 2015
Big Gay Sing!
Friday, July 17; Saturday, July 18, 6:00pm (Reviewed); Saturday, July 18, 10:00pm; Sunday, July 19
City Stage Theatre at Union Station
30 West Pershing Rd., Kansas City MO
For more tickets and more information, visit http://www.kcfringe.org