Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Broadway Blessing, 2009

Lynn Redgrave, J. Mark McVey, Carol Hall, Project Dance, The Broadway Blessing Choir and other distinguished guests will be among the performing artists at this year's celebration dedicated to the people who bring us great theater.

On Monday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, one of the nation's leading religious and secular landmarks, is pleased to host the 13th annual Broadway Blessing, an interfaith service that has been bringing the theatre community together every September since 1997. Founded and guest produced by yours truly, Broadway Blessing was conceived as a service of song and story designed to seek God's grace on the new theatre season.

This year’s event will include theatre reflections by actress Lynn Redgrave, Broadway veteran J. Mark McVey singing “A Chance for Me” from the musical Amazing Grace: The True Story, singer/songwriter Carol Hall, actor Casey Groves performing a scene from "Damien" and Project Dance. The Broadway Blessing Choir under the direction of Bruce Neswick, director of Cathedral music, will perform a number of Broadway hits followed by a “sing-a-long”.  The Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, Dean, and The Rev. Thomas Miller, Canon for Liturgy & Art, from the Cathedral will be joined by Rabbi Jill Hausman of Congregation Ezrath Israel / The Actors' Temple and The Rev. Mitties DeChamplain of St. Clement's Episcopal Church as participants in the 75-minute program.

Past participants have included Marian Seldes, Frances Sternhagen, Boyd Gaines, Edward Herrmann,, Anna Manahan, KT Sullivan, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, J. Mark McVey, Tituss Burgess, Kathleen Chalfant, Billy Porter, Elizabeth Swados, Ken Prymus, Three Mo’ Tenors and Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Mr. Herrmann had this to say about it before making his second Broadway Blessing appearance: “It’s reassuring to know there are so many people out there you know that believe in God and want to take that part of their life and dedicate it to the theatre because theatre is a very spiritual endeavor.  They come from every conceivable denomination, which I kind of like. It’s like a study in architecture of all these different buildings. They come from all kinds of disciplines and it’s just great to be among them.  It’s an annual event, like with spring comes the first buds, now it’s fall and we’re here to bless our endeavors for the rest of the year and maybe some luck will come out of it, whether that’s internal or external.”

Broadway Blessing is free and open to people of all ages; reservations are not needed.  For more information please visit www.stjohndivine.org.

Broadway Blessing is made possible by the generous support of Masterwork Productions Inc., The Church of the Transfiguration (The Little Church Around the Corner), Creative Gifts Foundation, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and other wonderful friends of the theater.

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