Concerts by the Gay Men's Chorus are almost as political as they are musical. They provide a forum for artistic as well as social harmony and attract a faithful audience. Much of the pops side of its repertoire is chosen for its double-entendres, and this year, in celebration of its 10th season, each concert includes chorus members' personal reminiscences of friends who have died of AIDS.
Thursday night's Christmas concert at the Church of the Epiphany brought back some of the chorus favorites from past years: a setting of Mendelssohn's "Behold a Star," Britten's "Adam Lay I-Bounden" from "A Ceremony of Carols" and the "Toyland Medley" in which a stream of tin soldiers, elves, angels and Raggedy Andys cavort around and which features "Susie Snowflake" in drag and a basso Mrs. Santa.
The chorus has gotten its act together since James Holloway took over as conductor. Diction is crisp, pitch is good and there is a sense of rhythmic energy to everything it sings. The staged pops segments move with alacrity and some of the singers dance pretty well too. The program was a little heavy on over-arranged carols and terminal cute, but a round called "Fruitcake" sung by 10 "Bakers" was ingenious and funny.