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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present Hitting Rock Bottom: KnoW Hope
From a press release
2017-09-05

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CHICAGO, September 1, 2017 — Chicago Gay Men's Chorus kicks off its 2017-18 season with Hitting Rock Bottom: KnoW Hope, a cabaret show chronicling the trials and tribulations of addiction. 26 members of the chorus will each take to the stage to sing about the ups and downs of this issue. Audiences can look forward to songs from Amy Winehouse, P!nk, Scissor Sisters, Radiohead, Sia, Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, selections from Dear Evan Hansen, The Wiz, RENT and many more! Performances are Friday, September 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM at Mayslake Peabody Estate and Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM at Uptown Underground.

CGMC's Artistic Director, James J. Morehead, programmed the show in response to a high rate of substance abuse in the LGBTQ+ community. "Whether it's a party drug or a full-fledged addiction, substances run the gamut in our community," said Morehead. "I hope this show will shed light on some of the issues." This year's cabaret is certainly focused more on things rather than people, with the cast navigating a transformation and rising from the ashes.

Hitting Rock Bottom is infused with songs that explore all areas of addiction; the ins and outs of a struggle, succumbing and overcoming. One of the songs in the show is written by local Chicago actor and performer Stephen Stratford and autobiographically tells of the story of his experience with meth addiction. "Hopefully it brings encouragement to those struggling, empowerment to those resisting, and hope for those who are overcoming their struggle," said Morehead. The show opens with a rendition of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" and ends with a beautiful choral number from Dolly Parton.

Yes, the subject matter is dark, but the show also sets a hopeful tone. There are somber moments but there are many more light hearted, sincere moments as well. "As artists, I believe it is important to not only entertain but engage and educate our performers and audiences," concluded Morehead. "Most of us have something to say, and when we do that through music and theater, or whichever art is yours, the statements become stronger and more effective."

WHEN/WHERE

Friday, September 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM

Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 8:00 PM & 10:00 PM

Uptown Underground, 4707 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640

TICKETS

Tickets are currently on sale and range from $25 - $35 online in addition to a ticket fee. Prices increase at the door to $30 - $40. For more information, please visit www.cgmc.org/get-tickets or call 773-296-0541.

ABOUT CHICAGO GAY MEN'S CHORUS

The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus ( CGMC ) has been an integral part of Chicago's cultural and gay communities since 1983. For more than three decades, the chorus has entertained audiences across the continent with innovative musical programming exploring everything from love to politics to the sometimes fabulous, sometimes challenging world of being gay; often all at the same time. Our always-memorable performances have included original musical revues; full-length book musicals; traditional choral concerts and intimate cabaret presentations; all punctuated with our signature joyous irreverence.

Most recently, CGMC represented Chicago's LGBT community at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's second-term inauguration ceremony. The chorus proudly sang "America the Beautiful" for the Illinois Marriage Equality Act bill-signing ceremony and was the featured guest choral performer for the star-studded concert, Broadway Rocks, with the Grant Park Music Festival in 2011. Chicago Gay Men's Chorus was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2001 and currently has four cd-recordings available. CGMC has performed the National Anthem multiple times at world-famous Wrigley Field and for the WNBA Chicago Sky and Chicago's professional soccer team, Chicago Fire.


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