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Sing Out

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The North Coast Men’s Chorus is looking for a few good gay men tonight when it holds auditions for an upcoming show. First, prospective singers will have to get past the ears of Rich Cole, director of the 90-member ensemble. “You don’t need to practice the National Anthem, but you’ll have to match pitch,” says spokesman Rob Toth. “After a few seconds, he’ll know if you can sing.”

In March, the group marks the end of its 19th season with a concert at Cleveland State University that includes songs from 1920 to 1980. Newbies will perform at the show alongside the vets. “It can be daunting, and it can be overwhelming,” says Toth. “But it’s not like, ‘Welcome to the chorus. Start singing.’ We buddy up.” Closer to concert time, choreographer Lora Workman will even show the singers some fancy dance steps. “She won’t give you anything terribly elaborate, but she’ll whip you into shape,” says Toth. “She can make a silk purse out of cowhide.”

Those who don’t make the cut tonight can still be part of the chorus -- albeit as part of its volunteer corps, which sets up tables, takes tickets, and sells CDs before showtime. “Our audience sees them before they even see us,” says Toth. “They are the unsung heroes of the chorus.” Onstage, the chorus plans to ham it up -- which is nothing new. “We all sing in the shower,” says Toth. “We’re all Madonna with a hairbrush.”
Sun., Jan. 21, 7 p.m.

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