The NWSB’s cabaret promotes unity and raises money
The New Wave Singers of Baltimore (NWSB), on March 6, held their 10th annual Cabaret to showcase its talented choir and to raise money for the choir’s upcoming music festival in Montreal, Canada.
This year, the Cabaret was held at the Metropolitan Community Church of Baltimore, Md., 401 W. Monument St. Over 100 patrons attended the event to enjoy an evening of music, food and “Penny Petite.”
“Penny Petite,” the drag persona of the event’s host Tim McCormick received much applause for his 12 dress changes, which included the “Naughty Nurse,” “Pink Haired Vixen” and “Dominatrix.” With his engaging personality, constant bantering and risqué remarks, McCormick was the audience’s favorite of the night.
McCormick joined the NWSB in 1989. He is no longer a member but he still takes part in the NWSB events. This is his 3rd year hosting the Cabaret. He said he has two reasons for taking part in the Cabaret.
“The Cabaret serves as a chance for gay people to meet other gay people,” McCormick said. He also said the Cabaret helps to incorporate heterosexual people in the gay and lesbian communities.
“A large portion of the audience is straight, so things like this [referring to the Cabaret] help people reach an understanding where people can start to look at each other as individuals,” McCormick said.
The Cabaret began at 8 p.m. and ended around midnight, well past the scheduled end time of 10 p.m. There were over 12 performances, which featured a variety of music, including jazz, classical and pop music.
The choir started the event by performing the hit, “Get the Party Started,” originally performed by the pop artist Pink. During the choir’s performance, members of the audience could be heard singing along, “I am coming out,” a verse from the popular song. At the end of their set, the choir exited the stage to a standing ovation from the audience.
Individual members of the choir also performed skits. The skit “Don’t Use Your Penis for a Brain,” an ode to President Bush received a deafening applause from the audience, as the performer chastised President Bush for his views on gay marriage.
Members of the choir and audience agreed that the Cabaret was a success. They also agreed that the event was successful in promoting the idea of unity between the homosexual and heterosexual communities.
Susan Clouse, choir member, said the Cabaret follows the mission of the NWSB because it is making music that matters for the issues that society has.
Lisa Griffee, president of the NWSB, said she was happy with the Cabaret’s success because the Cabaret was not a typical New Wave Singers concert. “It presents a less serious side to the public and it is truly meant to be fun and light entertainment,” she said.
Yvonne Aruna was one of the many persons in attendance. This was the patron’s first Cabaret. “It was quite interesting, I have never experienced something like this in my life,” she said. “I have gay and lesbian friends, so as a show of support I wanted to come out and support the message of unity between the gay and straight communities.”
The event was Robert Bacon’s fifth Cabaret. Beyond the music, food and the antics of “Penny Petite,” he said he supports the organizations continued message of inclusion.
“We are having lots of fun, while supporting an organization that tries to unite not divide. What more could you ask for,” Bacon said.
The Cabaret while it did serve to entertain. It was also a fundraising event. This year, through incorporating a silent auction, along with ticket sales, the NWSB was able to raise $3000. Patrons were able to bet on items such as, T-shirts, books and other items to help the organization meet its goal. The organization exceeded its expected goal by $200.
The money raised by the Cabaret will be used for the NWSB’s GALA Festival to be held in Montreal in July. The money allows the NWSB to pay for performers to attend the event and to fund the organization’s many needs.
The GALA Festival is the organization’s last major performance of the year. The choir plans to participate in the two-week event. They will enroll in music classes, compete with other gay and lesbian bands from around the world and share the organization’s mission statement.
The NWSB is holding a final fundraising event before the festival. The concert titled, “ Parlez-vous Bawlmoreze, hon?” is going to be held on May 15 at 8 p.m., and May 16 at 3 p.m., at the Metropolitan Community Church. The theme is going to be to celebrate the message of the choir’s connection to Baltimore and its long journey to the GALA Festival.
For more information on upcoming NWSB performances visit the organization’s web site.