Monday, March 30, 2015

A Musically Nostalgic Trip Through Our Favorite TV Memories

Guest Blogger Rebecca Klug is the Manager of Marketing for the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts and an enthusiastic advocate of the community-building power of the arts.

The Rainbow Chorale's As Seen on TV! showcase on Friday, March 27, was an entertaining romp through a range of favorite television theme songs and other classic TV moments. The rustic Arden Gild Hall setting and "heavy hors d'oeuvres"  which turned out to be a table laden with fried chicken, meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn, meatloaf, vegan polenta lasagna and a selection of homey desserts  established a feeling of an old-fashioned community get-together right from the start.

The chorus, under the direction of Elinor Armsby, led off with The Muppet Show Theme and moved on to other iconic openers like All in the Family's Those Were the Days, The Big Bang Theory's History of Everything, the Sesame Street Theme, and a medley of themes from classic shows like Laverne & Shirley, the Brady Bunch, Bonanza and I Love Lucy.

No lyrics, no problem! We heard vocal adaptations of instrumental pieces like the Theme from Star Trek, and — in possibly the strongest performance of the evening — Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn. In addition to full-chorus features, musical numbers ranged from a solo performance of David Bowie's Life on Mars sung by Denise Conner to a female quartet singing I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener in barbershop style, to a rousing rendition of Friends' I'll Be There For You sung by a male sextet, all dressed in their respective Friend's part.

Between musical numbers, chorus members performed costumed skits — a conversation between Archie and Edith Bunker, a gender-bending Star Trek episode — and recreated classic commercials like "Where's the Beef?," "Mikey Likes It!," and even Saturday Night Live's "commercial" for New Shimmer Floor Wax/Dessert Topping.

Throughout the concert, the audience participated enthusiastically, overpowering "Ed Sullivan's" stilted introduction with shrieks and shouts of "Beatles!!" during a recreation of the band's famous performance of I Want to Hold Your Hand and singing along (with more energy than accuracy) with Schoolhouse Rock's Constitution Preamble. By the time the chorus closed with The Golden Girls' Thank You For Being a Friend, it felt like a genuine and heartfelt send-off to a room packed with still-laughing supporters.

The Rainbow Chorale, established in 1999, is an inclusive, nonprofit community chorus that provides LGBT individuals, friends and allies an opportunity to perform choral music while serving as a positive force for change.

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