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Everything Elton

Back in 1999, the first time members of the South Beach Gay Men's Chorus let their voices loose in our midst, the tenors, baritones, and basses were seen on Lincoln Road wearing red Santa hats, handing out lyric sheets, and exhorting passersby to sing along with a multilingual version of "Silent Night" and "We Need a Little Christmas," among many tunes. The casual performance was all in the name of a fun program celebrating the holidays. Since then at other productions, the 50 singers have been spotted clad in pink tutus and tights with ample fake bosoms filling their satin bodices, or dolled up in crisp white uniforms and matching hats as sailors on shore leave. In a mere five years, the chorus has gone from crooning Christmas carols gratis outdoors to presenting sell-out extravaganzas with dazzling sets and, as mentioned, whimsical costumes, carrying a kooky sense of humor as well as a tune.

This weekend the stage will be filled with giant platform shoes, colorful feather boas, and glittery star-shaped eyeglasses when the chorus presents Still Standing: The Music of Elton John. With a prolific hit parade that dates back more than 30 years and a reputation as one of the most outrageously clad performers in rock and roll history, John and his work are a perfect fit for the zany group, whose past shows have featured everything from standards to the music of Swedish supergroup Abba. Under the artistic direction of Doug Williford, the program promises golden oldie ballads including "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Candle in the Wind" plus upbeat compositions such as "Philadelphia Freedom." (Guys, we beg you, please stay away from the "Club at the End of the Street.") Tying the whole shebang together is a script written by local playwright Michael McKeever. Even John, a bit staid now compared to his wild young days, would crack a gap-toothed smile.


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