Matthew Turkle may have the anatomy of a man, but on Tuesday, March 15, he took on the role of a woman by singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” from the Broadway show “Funny Girl.”
Turkle, along with a few other students from Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the Theatre Honor Society, reversed their sexes at Parker Theatre for “Gender Bend Cabaret.”
APO serves the theatre department on campus and the greater campus community.
“It’s a service community through music and dance,” said third-year transfer theatre arts major Patrick Rooney. “It’s to improve ourselves as artists and improve the community through a longer lasting effect than just a show.”
This particular APO show featured guys singing female musical theatre hits and girls singing male’s. Only five songs were performed in a short 30 minutes, including “If Mama Was Married” from “Gypsy,” sung by second-year theatre major Ian Brodsky and fourth-year theatre major David Mangiamele and “I Only Want To Say (Gethsemane)” from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” sung by second-year theatre major Genny Bozek.
The event also asked for donations to the Metropolitan Community Church of New York (MCCNY) overnight services. Specifically, the donations will go to Sylvia’s Place, which is an emergency overnight shelter for LGBTQ youth who have been kicked out or left their homes in New York City. Fourth-year theatre major Kristin Dwyer said that 25 to 40 percent of runaway youths are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer. Dwyer said they had been looking for the right place to donate to from the proceeds of the event.
“The Burlesque Club had a gender fabulous workshop with World Famous ‘Bob’,” said Dwyer. “She had mentioned Sylvia’s Place that looks after LGBTQ youth and I thought, ‘Wow, that might be the one to look for.’ It was really compelling to us and fit this event,” said Dwyer.
Although the performance was planned very quickly and just a Facebook event and a few flyers were made, there was a large turnout.
“I thought it went really well,” said Brodsky. “Sort of just threw this together and it was a bigger crowd than we expected. It was just fun.”
The crowd was cheering throughout the event and laughing with the singers, but some in the audience had mixed reviews.
“Where was the gender-bending? They weren’t even dressed up in drag or anything,” said second-year Women Studies major Alyssa Scout Riera. “It was good but not what I was expecting.”
Dwyer said they are definitely planning more events for the future, either this semester or next, and will plan more in advance.