Heartland Men's Chorus goes from serious and sublime to outrageous and nutty in "Fruitcake"

The Heartland Men's Chorus served up plenty of seasonal cheer this weekend at the Folly Theater in the group's holiday concert, "Fruitcake".
Under the skilled, sure-handed baton of Joseph Nadeau, HMC's artistic director, the veteran Kansas City musical group began with traditional classics, including "Sing We Now of Christmas," "The Holly and the Ivy," and three traditional Hanukkah pieces, two of which were sung in Hebrew.
These pieces all displayed the trademark warmth, precision and balance of Nadeau and the chorus, complemented by the Folly's outstanding acoustics. But the final numbers of this first segment pointed toward nuttier things to come. Mark T. Riggs provided a standout solo for "Christmas is Delicious," and Ron Williams, gamely channeling Julia Child, proceeded to "assemble" a fruitcake onstage while providing a cocktail-soaked narrative.
Things really got going in the second segment, titled "A Very Special Christmas." Highlighting music from TV network specials of decades past, the segment features a narrator, here played by Tom Lancaster, describing his favorite holiday specials past while campy reenactments of these specials are trotted out onstage and performed. "A Very Special Christmas" was commissioned jointly by HMC and a nationwide group of men's choruses, including those of Seattle and Dallas, and simultaneously premiering in those and four other cities.
The conception here displays a bit of genius, transporting the audience smoothly through such holiday classics as Bing Crosby's "Christmas in Killarney", Johnny Mathis' "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and John Denver and the Muppets' wacky version of "The 12 Days of Christmas."
But a special mention has to be made of Kevin Briggs' reading of Andy Williams' "Moonlight in Vermont." Briggs not only captured the smooth Williams style perfectly, but background lighting and snow effects completed a picture of sublime, almost haunting winter beauty.
Campy numbers featuring the Partridge Family, and a complement of Star Wars characters (yes, apparently they had a network Christmas special too), rounded out a thoroughly enjoyable evening of music and cheer.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less