Love Is in the Air

The North Coast Men's Chorus celebrates spring.

Cleveland theater
The gay guys in the North Coast Men's Chorus take a look at love from all sorts of angles in their tribute to springtime passion, S'Wonderfool.

Today's two-hour concert includes standards and oldies like "I Only Have Eyes for You" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" It'll also spotlight a medley of pop songs and a performance by the chorus' 10-member a cappella ensemble, the Coastliners. "There'll be some songs about love, some songs about lust, some songs about love and lust," laughs tenor Rob Toth. "And some, you'll tee-hee and smirk at, because they're lovingly, sexually flirtatious."

With Richard Cole as its director, the chorus' membership has mushroomed to more than 100 men since its 1988 inception. Each season, they perform three concerts — in the spring and midsummer, and at the end of the year. Many of the members were born to sing, says Toth, but others discovered in unexpected places that they could carry a tune. In Toth's case, it was during a No-Talent Night at a men's retreat four years ago. "I knew the audience would be supportive, even if I really sucked," he says. "I sang solo, to piano, onstage — three things I had never done — and I got a standing ovation. I didn't know I could even hit a note. But, voilà, here I am."

Over the past few years, the chorus has backed up Michael Feinstein, Linda Eder, and Kate Clinton in concert. They even crossed the border in 2004 to sing at Montreal's Gay & Lesbian Association of Choruses Festival. "It's nothing about ego," says Toth. "It's kindly democratic."
Sun., April 2, 3 p.m.

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