BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Well-Strung, an all-gay, all-male string quartet, has its roots in Provincetown, Mass., when Mark Cortale spotted violinist Christopher Marchant playing classical music in the street.
“He did not have his shirt on and he was making beautiful music,” recalls Cortale, a producer who works with Broadway-Sirius/XM personality Seth Rudetsky. “I took a picture of him and put it on Facebook with a caption, ‘You have to love Provincetown.’”
Soon, Cortale organized an act with Marchant, violinist Edmund Bagnell, violist Trevor Wadleigh anc cellist Daniel Shevlin, a mix of classical and pop music, strings and vocals.
“Everyone is gay. Everyone is out,” says Cortale. “It’s not a gay group in the sense that it’s about the music. But in their personal lives, they’re out.”
In 2012, Well-Strung had an extended run in Provincetown. This year the quartet released its first album, is headed back to P-Town and played off-Broadway in a musical directed by Broadway veteran Donna Drake, an original cast member of A Chorus Line.
That’s the show Well-Strung performs Sunday night at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, part of the Art in the Tropics LGBTQ performance festival.
“It’s a concert, but it’s a show, as well,” says Shevlin. “Sometimes we start the numbers and people don’t know what the song is until about a minute into.”
When Well-Strung first took off in Provincetown, the act was “gayer,” according to Cortale.
Shevlin agrees: “The first few incarnations were a little more gay, a little more in-your-face gay,” he says. “Now, it’s become the music. It’s not just a gay show.”
Still, Well-Strung is frequently booked into gay festivals such as Out in the Tropics.
Great, says Shevlin.
“I love gay audiences. They’re much more open, fun, cat-calling. You know they don’t hold back,” he says. “We get used to that in P-Town. Then we go to New York and they're much less rowdy. We want to know what happened? We [think we] suck!”
IF YOU GO
Fundarte Presents Well-Strung in Concert 8 p.m. Sunday at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets $25 (students and seniors) and $30, Ticketmaster.com. VIP seating $100 including cast reception following show to benefit 2017 World Outgames in Miami Beach, firstname.lastname@example.org.