Friday, August 01, 2014

Musical Theatre Proejct and CPT to present "I Am What I Am" as part of the Gay Games

Are you ready?  From August 9-16 the eyes of the world will be focused on Cleveland as athletes, entertainers, and guests invade the city for the 2014 Gay Games.  Sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation, with the support of 23 diverse organizations, Cleveland and Akron will showcase sports and cultural festivals.

Cleveland, which is not known as a gay Mecca, beat out Boston and Washington, D.C. to host the events.  Some have questioned whether our Midwestern fairly conservative bastion is ready to put itself on display and will be open to same sex-couples walking downtown holding hands, public displays of affection, and yards and yards of rainbow ribbon and balloons.  Even our staid Terminal Tower will be festooned out in a display of rainbow-colored lights.

National news outlets have pointed out that  we don't have a 'gayborhood' like so many cities do.  Yes, Lakewood, Ohio City, Tremont and Coventry in Cleveland Heights are noted to be “open,” but not a “destination” place with gay bars, restaurants and entertainment.  Also, though gay marriage is legal in 19 states and The District of Columbia (as of the day this is written), Ohio is not one of them.   Media also related that area Muslim taxi drivers have refused to drive cabs that advertise the Gay Games.  Will conservatives, Tea Party members, and right wing church groups picket or try to disrupt the events?

The Games, which are open to all adults—regardless of sexual orientation or athletic abilities, has 35 different sports events from darts to triathlon, bowling to softball.  What may surprise some is that over 150 entertainment events are scheduled during Games week.

Entertainment venues, people and organizations that will be featured are The Cleveland Orchestra, Oven Productions, The Cleveland Indians, Goodtime III and The Nautica Queen, Boy George, Actors’ Summit Theatre, North Coast Men’s Chorus, Greg Louganis, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and Lance Bass.

A kick-off entertainment event will be jointly presented by The Musical Theatre Project and Cleveland Public Theatre.

“I Am What I Am:  Gays, Lesbians and the American Musical,” will be staged on Sunday, August 10, 2104 at 2 and 7 pm at Gordon Square Theatre at CPT, 6415 Detroit Avenue (Gordon Square Arts District).

Conceived by TMTP’s artistic director, Bill Rudman, the concert will be directed by Scott Plate and feature Katherine DeBoer, Molly Andrews-Hinders and Jared Leal, with Nancy Maier serving as the music director.

The material will span 85 years, featuring such highlights as the “coded” lyrics of closeted gay songwriters Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart, new material as heard in “Kinky Boots,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and “Fun Home.”  Also included will be the unofficial Gay National Anthem, “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage Aux Folles,” and music from Michael Bennett’s “A Chorus Line,” “Kander and Ebb’s “Kiss of a Spider Woman” and Jonathan Larson’s “Rent.” 

For concert tickets call 216-631-2727 X 501. 

For information about the Gay Games and to purchase tickets, call 216-479-6470 or go to