The Village People were cultural icons of the late 1970s—swooshing in around 1977 with their first self-titled LP and then disappearing just as quickly from the charts by 1979. They were a novelty band who sought to capitalize on the glitz and glamour of the disco age—and boy did they. Formed by French musical composer Jacques Morali, the People were named after New York’s Greenwich Village, which had a large gay population, and members dressed up like gay male fantasy archetypes (although two of the original members were actually straight). The music was disco and the songs were named after very gay hotspots such as “San Francisco (You’ve Got Me),” “In Hollywood (Everybody is a Star),” “Key West” and “Fire Island.” But even with titles like “Sodom and Gomorrah,” “My Roomate” [sic] and “Hot Cop,” mainstream audiences were either clueless to the joke, or just didn’t care. Embracing the group and their hits “Y.M.C.A.,” “Macho Man,” “In the Navy” and “Go West,” heteros and homos alike shook their booties to hook-laden happy music that defied stereotypes and shattered boundaries (the U.S. Navy wanted to use In the Navy as their new recruitment anthem—but later changed their mind). Now hot off almost a dozen dates in France, the current lineup of the People (which includes three original members and three who’ve been with the group 10 years or more) will be dropping by Rancho to help you get your groove on and remember a time when no one cared who you slept with, just how well you danced.
Village People at Lewis Family Playhouse, 12505 Cultural Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 477-2752; www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com. Sat., June 13, 8 PM. $60.