Last Christmas, The Polyphonic Spree canceled their annual holiday extravaganza. Dallas’ 23-member pop-choral sensation were too busy working on their newest album, “The Fragile Army.” On Sunday, the gig returns. And they’ve added a second show.
In 2004, the show moved from the Lakewood Theatre to Nokia. And that year, the Christmas pageant added some drag when gay Spree member Jamie Welsh played Mrs. Claus, pictured above.
What’s in store for this year’s show will be a surprise. But the Spree are moving the show back to the Lakewood.
“Holiday Extravaganza” is a wholesome tradition tailored especially for kids with milk and cookies, petting-zoo reindeer, Christmas mimes and a version of “The Little Drummer Boy” that would have made the Blessed Virgin go deaf. Don’t be surprised if it snows inside the Lakewood. A screening of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” kicks off the festivities.
Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. Dec. 16. Doors for first show open at 3:30 p.m., second show at 8 p.m. $28. 214-373-8000. Don’t forget to bring a new toy for Toys for Tots, and canned goods for the North Texas Food Bank. 214-827-5253.
Women’s Chorus lights up Caruth
On Sunday, the Women’s Chorus of Dallas kicks off its 19th season with a “Holiday Lights” concert. Under the artistic direction of Melinda Imthurn, the 60-member group will perform a variety of winter-season music, from Calypso to goosebump-inducing High Church, to Ashkenazi Hebrew dialect.
Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the Southern Methodist University campus. $10-$25. 214-520-7828.
Rufus steps into Judy’s slippers
Talk about audaciousness. Gay crooner Rufus Wainwright hardly ever receives compliments for his vocal range. Looks like the diva is ready for any challenge.
Last summer, Wainwright began a song-by-song recreation of Judy Garland’s iconic 1961 Carnegie Hall performance. Backed by a 40-piece orchestra, Wainwright took the show to Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium, the Hollywood Bowl and the Paris Olympia. Last week, he released both “Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall” (Geffen) and the DVD, “Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy! Live At The London Palladium.”
The CD version includes a duet with Lorna Luft on “Swanee.”
Welcome back to Grey Gardens
This little nugget was released a few weeks ago, and copies are going fast only two left on Amazon.com.
“Little Edie Live! A Visit To Grey Gardens” ($14.99, CreateSpace) is a recording that Water Newkirk made when he interviewed Little Edie Bouvier Beal on April 22, 1976. A student, Newkirk was working on an assignment for the Rutgers College newspaper. According to Amazon reviewers, the recording is fairly crisp but headphones are strongly suggested. In between Edie’s whispers about conspiracies, lost dreams and missed opportunities, she discusses her famous cousins, Jackie and Lee.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 14, 2007