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'Avenue Q' star Ann Harada to host New York City Gay Men’s Chorus gala at Christie's

News release from OutNewsWire:

New York, New York – February 7, 2011 – On February 28, 2011, Christie’s, the world's leading auction house, will be transformed into an elegant party space as Harmony, the annual gala fundraiser for the New York City Gay Men's Chorus’ (NYCGMC) and Youth Pride Chorus, returns for a second year of fun and frolic for a great cause.

Starring renowned Broadway star Ann Harada (Avenue Q, 9 to 5, Les Misérables, Seussical, Sleight of Hand), with special performances by the world’s first concert pianist/drag diva Jacqueline Jonée, the much-heralded Youth Pride Chorus, and members of the NYCGMC, the evening will include great food and entertainment, and a host of opportunities to bid on and win fabulous prizes including a live auction conducted by a Christie's auctioneer. Ms. Ermine Muff will also return as the “auctioneer’s assistant” after her scene-stealing appearance last year.

The event features an open bar with heavy hors d'oeuvres and runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. VIP admission includes a pre-event champagne reception at 6:00 p.m., reserved seating and a special gift. General admission tickets are $150, VIP tickets are $250. Groups of five qualify for special pricing of $600 for general admission and $1,000 for VIP admission.

“The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus is fresh off its 30th anniversary and we are doing some of the best work in our long and storied history,” said Brian McComak, chairman of the board of Big Apple Performing Arts, the parent organization for NYCGMC and Youth Pride Chorus. “We see every day in the news that the message for equality, respect and a society free from bullying is unfortunately more relevant than ever. Both NYCGMC and Youth Pride Chorus use the power of song to deliver these messages in a unifying way to the wider community.”

“Advocating takes money, especially in New York City, and Harmony continues to be the primary fundraiser for our organization,” added McComak. “If last year’s event was any indication, it’s going to be a knock-out evening filled with music, celebration and surprises. Anyone who loves a good party will not want to miss Harmony.”

A collection of media icons, Broadway stars and LGBT community leaders are supporting this year’s event as Honorary Hosts including: Joan Rivers, Liz Callaway, John Tartaglia, Our Lady J, Joan Garry and Eileen Opatut, Justin Crockett Elzie, Hedda Lettuce, Seth Rudetsky, and Dan Savage and Terry Miller.


A musical gala benefiting the New York City Gay Men's Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus

Promoting Equality through the Power of Song

Monday, February 28, 2011, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., VIP Champagne Reception at 6:00 p.m.

Christie's, 20 Rockefeller Plaza
Starring Ann Harada, Featuring Jacqueline Jonée and Ermine Muff
$150 General Admission | $600 Group of Five
$250 for VIP Admission | $1,000 Group of Five
Admission includes Hors d'oeuvres, Open Bar and Special Gift
VIP admission also includes Champagne Reception, Meet and Greet with Special Guests, VIP Gift and Reserved Seating for the Main Show
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.nycgmc.org or call the Chorus office at 212-344-1777 x 4.

THE NEW YORK CITY GAY MEN’S CHORUS is an auditioned, 200-voice male chorus serving the gay community and the greater community at large by the performance of classical and contemporary male choral music as proud and openly gay men. In addition to their regular concert series, NYCGMC also performs at a variety of local and tri-state area functions, benefits, and performances. For over 30 years, NYCGMC audiences have filled auditoriums including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls to standing room only. Unanimously acclaimed by America’s leading music critics, the Chorus has sung with some of the world’s brightest stars, commissioned and premiered many major works, made celebrated television appearances, and sold recordings worldwide. NYCGMC continues to serve the community each day through its education and AIDS outreach programs. Youth Pride Chorus, a free program for LGBTQ young people and their allies between the ages of 14-21, is the first program of its kind to be sponsored by an adult mentor chorus.

YOUTH PRIDE CHORUS galvanizes the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight youth ages 13-22 in the movement for change. YPC concerts feature these young artists in exciting, high-energy performances of both classic and current pop, rock, and folk songs, original choreography, and spoken word. Through fun and rigorous weekly rehearsals, YPC singers train in voice, dance, and song interpretation, developing both artistic excellence and leadership skills. YPC typically numbers between 30 and 40 singers. YPC has recently performed as guest artists at the GLAAD Media Awards, GLSEN's Respect Awards, Broadway Backwards at Lincoln Center, and with Cyndi Lauper on her True Colors Tour. Youth Pride Chorus is a program of The New York City Gay Men's Chorus and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Under the artistic direction of Wes Webb and musical direction of Matthew Fetbrandt, YPC is facilitated by the Center's Youth Enrichment Services program.

Ann Harada originated the role of Christmas Eve in the Broadway and London casts of Avenue Q.  Other B’way: 9 to 5 (Kathy, u/s Violet), revival of Les Miserables (Madame Thenardier), Seussical the Musical (Marshal of the Court), and M. Butterfly (Comrade Chin).  Other NYC: Love, Loss and What I Wore (Westside Theatre), The Kid (New Group), Falsettoland (National Asian American Theatre Co.), The Moment When (Playwrights Horizons), 1,2,3,4,5 (Manhattan Theatre Club) and four original musicals at the Vineyard Theatre, where she is a charter member of the Community of Artists.  Concerts:  Chess, Hair (Actors Fund), Into the Woods, Snoopy, Children of Eden, William Finn’s Songs of Innocence and Experience (Merkin Hall), Broadway Unplugged, Broadway By the Year. Regional: High School Musical (MUNY), Funked Up Fairy Tales (Sundance Theatre Institute), Working (Long Wharf), Golden Child (Kennedy Center), Pajama Game (Center Stage), Scapin and Das Barbecu (both at Portland Stage). Film: includes Homework, Feel, Happiness, Hudson River Blues. Recent TV: includes Lipstick Jungle (as Victory Ford’s mother), The Electric Company, Cashmere Mafia, Johnny & the Sprites.  For the last two years she has co-written and starred in Christmas Eve with Christmas Eve, an all-star benefit for BC/EFA.

Jacqueline Jonée is delighted and honored to perform at Harmony for the New York City Gay Men’s Choruswith the JouJou Jacquettes Philharmonic Orchestra – Mark Haddad on bass and Josh Sarpen on cello. For the past three years, Ms. Jonée performed at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Pubic Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center as part of their LGBT Pride celebration. Ms. Jonée returns this June 20th for two Pride concerts with her fourth production entitled “Safari So Goody.”  Ms. Jonee has performed at World Pride 2006 in Jerusalem, at Joe’s Pub, Sardis, The School for Ethical Culture, Don’t Tell Mama, Duplex, the Friar’s Club and Laurie Beechman Theatre. Ms. Jonée is the Millenium Queen of the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus and for many years performed at The Rosebud Party benefiting NYCGMC. She is Her Grace Grand Duchess Jacqueline Jonée of The Imperial Court of New York. Jacqueline Jonée is the creation of John (Jack) Nieman. Please visit Jacqueline’s Facebook page or www.JacquelineJonee.com.

Ms. Ermine Muff (of the Connecticut Muffs).  Socialite and housewife, Ms. Muff is best known as the spouse of the late billionaire furrier, Mr. Eaton Muff, whose famous ad campaign, "Pass the cold Connecticut winters by slipping into an Eaton Muff - Eaton Muff Furriers of Bridgeport," is known globally.  Tragically, Mr. Muff died while volunteering for a knife throwing act while attending a supper club.  Ms. Muff fills her days with contract bridge, dry gin studies, and her children, Buzz and Sable Muff, and an occasional appearance on the stage.  Ermine dedicates this show to her older sister, Dusty Muff who loves all manner of charitable work and good causes.  Ermine Muff is the creation of Mark Wadley.  Please visit Ermine on Facebook at www.facebook.com/erminemuff.


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