The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida’s highly anticipated holiday concert returns to Hard Rock Event Center at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. “Holidays at the Hard Rock!” will feature an evening of festive and celebratory music from the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida accompanied by Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe-nominated artist Matthew Morrison.
“We’re excited to welcome back the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida and their fans to Hard Rock Event Center,” said Susan Renneisen, vice president of community affairs and special events at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. “The community looks forward to their holiday show every year, and we are excited to see Matthew Morrison take the stage with the group.”
Known for his work on Broadway, Morrison became a household name playing the beloved choral director, Will Schuester, in the hit television musical comedy, “Glee.” Morrison has starred on stage in various Broadway productions, including “Finding Neverland,” “Hairspray,” “The Light in the Piazza” and “South Pacific.” In April 2018, Morrison, along with other stars from the Broadway and television community, united with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to perform in a televised benefit concert, “From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Parkland, USA,” with all proceeds benefiting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund and Shine MSD.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Matthew Morrison for this exclusive Hotspots interview:
Were you always an entertainer, even as a child, or when did it start?
I started when I was 10 years old. My parents sent me to Arizona to a children’s theater summer camp, and I found my passion.
What was your first professional gig?
I went over to Hawaii as a part of a song and dance troupe in my freshman year of high School. Don Ho talked to me and invited me back the next summer to sing back up for him. That was the first time I got paid.
How did you get cast in Glee?
I sent an audition tape of me singing a couple songs and doing a scene. Then the producers came to New York and auditioned myself and a few other people. I was doing South Pacific on Broadway at the time. Ryan Murphy was obsessed with my boots, and I got the part.
Did you know from the beginning it was going to be a hit?
Absolutely not. We shot the first 13 episodes in a bubble. We all thought it was fun, but we were not sure what kind of audience it was going to get. We really had no clue it was going to be a global phenomenon.
Are you still in touch with any of the cast members?
Absolutely! A lot of them. We have little reunions now and then and we all support each other in the endeavors we are doing.
You have been in many Broadway shows, do you have a favorite and why?
I have two favorites for totally different reasons: Hairspray because it was my first lead in a Broadway show, and it gave me my big break. Also, the cast was so young and we bonded. It was the ride of a lifetime. The other show was The Light in the Piazza. It was the show that I felt legitimized me as an actor. It was my first Tony nomination and a very challenging role.
What is your fantasy Broadway role to play?
I always wanted to play Chris in Miss Saigon, but I think I am too old to play that now. Also I would love to play Jean Val Jean in Les Miserables.
How did you become associated with The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida?
They honored me by asking me to come sing with them. I have sang with many choruses lately, but this one is exciting as they have 110 people in their choir, and it’s a Christmas show. I feel like I will have an army behind me.
Why should our readers come out to see Holidays at the Hard Rock!?
For many different reasons. During the holiday season, it is such a time for music. But to hear music live with a choir is so powerful and spiritual, it takes you to your inner spirit, which is kind of what the holiday season is about to me. It’s a beautiful place to relish in the season.
What’s ahead for you?
I like to keep a lot of irons hot. I am currently working on my third studio album, and I am working on a new Broadway show for 2020. I am also working on a new museum, the Museum of Dance, that will open in 2020. In addition, I am working on a few films and TV shows.
In addition to all of that, I had my first child this year; a son. I now have a new job of being a father and I am excited about it. Since becoming a father I created a new company called Sherpapa, which specializes in gifts for new dads. I wanted people to realize dads can still be cool, as men are more present in raising children than ever before.
Under the direction of maestro Harold Dioquino, the 135-member Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida is the largest gay men’s chorus in the southeastern U.S. and is beginning its ninth season. Last season, the chorus reached more than 19,000 people with its main stage and outreach concert performances.
Tickets to “Holidays at the Hard Rock!” at the Hard Rock Event Center at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. are $70, $50 and $40. All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one hour prior to show start time.