Join the men of Una Voce on Dec. 9 and 11 for their whimsical 15th season holiday performance, “We Three Queens.”
The show is a silly twist on the traditional Three Kings/Wise Men of Christmas. But instead of following the Star of David, the three “queens” – Goldie, Frankie and Murray – follow their own star, Beyonce.
“We’re always trying to come up with something unique for the holidays,” Una Voce director Joseph Caulkins says, “and I got to thinking about the idea of the three kings at the holidays traveling to see the birth of Jesus. We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if those three kings were a little gayer?’ Our three queens are quite interesting and much more flamboyant.”
Caulkins says even though the show is frivolous and the queens are self-centered during their journey, they eventually discover the meaning of Christmas which Caulkins describes as the “awwww” moment of the show.
“People always ask ‘Is it Christmas or is it Happy Holidays?’” Una Voce head of production committee Jim Beaty says. “We are trying to say it’s, ‘Merry Everything.’ We are sending the message to look out for others and be good to other people. Don’t be so focused on our own needs; have a good time and laugh and enjoy the people you love.”
Caulkins says the show gives Una Voce performers a chance to show off their singing abilities as well as their dramatic skills. He says they wanted to create a concert that has traditional holiday favorites woven with music people don’t normally associate with the holidays. For example, Una Voce commissioned an arranger in Columbus to design the show’s theme song, a mash up of “Royals” by Lorde with “We Three Kings.”
“It’s neat to hear the combo of Lorde’s piece with “We Three Kings” and how the melodies interact with each other,” Caulkins says. “It gets the audience ready for this musical road trip.”
A few other musical delights included in the show are “Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay; “Christmas Rhapsody,” a spin on “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen; and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
“The performance is just very lighthearted and a little irreverent,” Beaty says. “We try to be as silly as possible. We’re in a national climate that’s very tense and argumentative, so we like to have a moment to laugh and have a good time.”
Another important element of the performance is that it marks the group’s 15th season as well as the first show under their new name, Una Voce: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Tampa Bay.
“It’s really important for our mission that people know we’re a gay men’s chorus,” Caulkins says. “We didn’t have the word ‘gay’ in our title before. It’s a pretty dramatic change, really.”
The group was formerly known as Una Voce: The Florida Men’s Chorale. Caulkins says they also wanted to incorporate Tampa Bay into their new name because many of their performers are from the Bay area, so they wanted their chorus to belong to the community.
“Our sense of community in Tampa Bay became even more personal when we performed at the [Tampa Bay] Rays game after Pulse,” Caulkins says. “Because of the Orlando tragedy, we need to say who and what we are and really believe in that.”
WHAT: Una Voce presents “We Three Queens”
WHEN/WHERE: Friday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m., Palladium Theatre, St. Petersburg | Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. USF Concert Hall, Tampa