Kip Jacobs says if youâve never seen âXanadu,â the campy 1980 movie, forget it for now and come hear the Gay Menâs Chorus of Washingtonâs all-male interpretation of the Broadway version with fresh eyes and ears.
âItâs the Broadway version but with our own GMCW twist,â Jacobs, who plays Sonny, says. âWeâve expanded the cast from about nine to about 80 to incorporate the Chorus, so it will definitely be a fun show with all this great music from the â80s.â
âXanaduâ opens tonight at 8 at the Lisner Auditorium (730 21st Street, NW) and will also be performed Saturday night at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 3. The campy show tells of Kira, a Greek muse, whoâs sent to Venice Beach to inspire men. The results? A talented artist finds his Olympian love and creates his own masterpiece â the worldâs first roller disco. Tickets range from $20-$55. Visit gmcw.org for details.
Jacobs, a native of nearby Westminster, Md., has been in the Chorus since 2006.
He works by day in information technology as a project analyst for Advisory Board Company, a consulting firm. His first couple years out of college, he taught high school French in his hometown school district, but soon moved to Washington where heâs been ever since.
He and boyfriend Paul Heald met in a line waiting to get into Cobalt three years ago. They live together in the U Street area. He enjoys singing, theater, technology and gadgets and watching âDownton Abbeyâ in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I started to come out around 18. It was my senior year and, emotionally, it was tough. I almost lost my spot as valedictorian due to meeting a boy. All those awakenings that most people go through in sixth grade were happening to me at a time when all I should have been doing was studying.
Who’s your LGBT hero?Â
Ellen. She has really done a lot to help the perception of the LGBT community.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?Â
This may date me a bit, but it has to be Nation. I really miss having a real dance club in town.
Describe your dream wedding.Â
One fully recognized by all 50 states and the federal government. Simple. Good friends. Good Champagne.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?Â
The cost of milk. When did it get so expensive?
What historical outcome would you change?Â
DOMA. Why did this ever happen?
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?Â
Janet Jacksonâs âwardrobe malfunction.â I can still hear the earth exploding in my ears.
On what do you insist?Â
Showering, if not several times a day. This goes for all around me too.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?Â
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
âFinding Xanadu â The crazy journey of a boy, a Brit and a Mini Cooperâ
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?Â
I would just say no. Nothing is better than being gay, out and proud. I feel like you arenât strapped into the gender roles that straight men (in America) have to cling to every day. You can live life as you want.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?Â
That some people were meant to be together and that connection doesnât have to be heterosexual. Oh, and, of course, I believe in âXanadu!â
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?Â
Stop emailing me so much. If I read your article once or gave a small donation once, then I know who you are. Itâs unfortunate, since I know there is good work being done, but they need to manage their mailing lists!
What would you walk across hot coals for?Â
Homemade crumpets by a certain âyou know who.â
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?Â
Trying to push gay men into traditional gender roles of âthe guyâ and âthe girl.â I just want the freedom to be me.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
âJustify My Loveâ by Madonna. I remember finally getting hold of a copy in my adolescent hands on VHS tape after it was banned by MTV.
What’s the most overrated social custom?Â
Ladies first. Arenât we all created equal? Arenât we fighting for equality? We could take a cue from the Brits and just queue up in the order we arrive. I take this mostly from fighting for a space on overcrowded busses, trying to get to work.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?Â
My upcoming role as Sonny Malone in âXanadu.â Iâve played bit parts here and there before, but this is a huge role and I canât wait to get out there and share it with everyone.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?Â
You donât need âmoreâ to be an adult or to be happy. You spend half your life accumulating stuff and then the rest of it slowly getting rid of it, realizing that all you need in the end is love, friends, some good food, music and a cozy place to lay your head. Keep it simple. Be happy.
Many moons ago, all I wanted was to get out of the small town I grew up in. I only got an hour and a half away to D.C., but I know my family loves that Iâm still around and that we get to see each other often. D.C. has really changed and will keep getting better.