Christopher Wingert is a pretty decent sight reader. The pianist had a friend in the cast of Ganymede’s “Naked Boys Singing” a few months ago and heard the show needed an emergency fill in.
“I think I had about 24 hours,” Wingert says. And not only did he have to learn the entire score from scratch, he was the only one in the pit for this production. “It’s not the world’s toughest score and I was vaguely familiar with it since I’d seen it in New York. It was a lot of fun. I had time to run through some of the trickiest parts that day with the cast.”
Wingert must have done well. He’s music director/accompanist for Ganymede’s new show, a production of William Finn’s Tony Award-winning musical “Falsettos” which opens tonight at Go Mama Go! (1809 14th St., N.W.; go here for tickets and show times). Wingert says he’s excited to be involved with Ganymede and admires its artistic director Jeffrey Johnson.
“I had seen a number of Jeffrey’s productions and I always felt they were just the best of quality and he himself is so talented so I really do feel strongly about a local theater community. The touring shows that come through town are great but a sign of a vibrant local culture is its own theater community and D.C. has a ton. I just really enjoy that side of Washington and kind of forget about the politics and the law firms because for me D.C. is almost the opposite, it’s so rich with arts and performing groups.”
The 28-year-old Tuscon, Ariz., native came to Washington in the summer of 2005. He works by day doing executive recruiting for non-profit arts organizations but keeps a busy schedule outside of that teaching piano lessons, teaching musical theater classes at the College of Mary Washington and singing with the Washington Chorus. Wingert is single and likes singing, cooking and dancing in his spare time. Wingert lives in Logan Circle.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Let’s see, I guess I’ve been out for about 10 years. It was toughest to tell the family but even that went really well.
Who’s your gay hero?
That’s not really a fair question since so many have done so much to further the LGBT rights movement. But I do think Fred from “Scooby-Doo” was an inspiration to gays in both law enforcement and the Navy.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
9:30 club, hands down.
What’s your dream gay wedding?
Have you seen the last 10 minutes of “Mamma Mia?” That’s a pretty gay wedding.
What non-gay issue are you most passionate about?
Education and the public school system. My background is in music education so I also feel strongly about the role of the arts in young people’s development.
What historical outcome would you change?
Eve just had to go for that apple, didn’t she?
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
If it’s pop and memorable, it must be Swedish. ABBA, Ace of Base, Robyn … I mean, the Swedes have got it all figured out.
On what do you insist?
Be decent and give a damn.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I was tagged in a video of a slew of friends in my living room wailing “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid” with me at the piano. This was not the first time (or last) that this has happened.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
I’m not sure, but I think Amy Sedaris should write it.
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Wonder why science wasn’t spending its time doing something important.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
There is so much beyond the physical world. Anyone who makes or enjoys music, for example, experiences this all the time.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Keep on keeping on!
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Anything with peanut butter.
What gay stereotype annoys you most?
That one about all gays loving musical theater. Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean that I know all these show tunes … Oh, wait. Shoot.
What’s your favorite gay movie?
Does “Hedwig” count? Amazing.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
If anything, I think we’ve started to underrate social customs. Be polite. Hold doors. Say please and thank you. Introduce yourself. Stay off your dang phone if you’re talking with others. I’m a crotchety old man when it comes to manners.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I wouldn’t sneeze at an Olympic gold.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
How to invent Google.
A beautiful city in a beautiful part of the country. Amazing friends and a vibrant local arts and culture scene.