by Sandi Durell
On September 16 at St. Malachy’s Church – The Actor’s Chapel, the new theater season was celebrated by many Broadway and off-Broadway performers and the The Broadway Blessing Choir and Instrumentalists. The event was produced by Kathryn Fisher and Pat Addiss. This event was founded many years ago by Retta Blaney who sat front and center enjoying the celebration.
Chita Rivera was on hand, after a warm welcome and instrumental prelude medley from Oklahoma and Choir rendition of “Together Wherever We Go” (Gypsy), to provide a heart warming tribute to her long time friend, who recently passed on, producer-director Hal Prince. This was followed by “Somewhere” (West Side Story) sung by the Choir.
On hand was David Friedman (composer) and on piano, to play for Conor Ryan who sang “Good To Be Alive” (lyrics by Peter Kellogg) from the recent off Broadway hit Desperate Measures. Roma Torre was on hand to interview Tony Award Winner Stephanie J. Block (Cher), followed by a medley from the upcoming The Music Man (featuring Alex Fraser, soloist, and Sheila Pomroy, choreographer).
Cabaret favorite Sidney Myer sang “Something Happened” (David Friedman – composer/pianist) and Tony Award Winner Jill O’Hara sang from Hair “Good Morning, Starshine.”
“The Circle of Life” (The Lion King) was performed by the Choir, with soloists Liseli Lugo and Stephen Carlile. Adam Shapiro (currently appearing as the Rabbi in Yiddish Fiddler) performed “Sabbath Prayer” (Fiddler on the Roof ).
The Broadway Blessing was beautifully sung and delivered by Rabbi Jill Hausman of The Actors’ Temple with Clergy from the Theatre District, followed by the Candle Lighting Ceremony “Sisi Ni Moja – “We Are One.”
To end a perfect evening, the Choir and audience members sang “The Best of Times” (La Cage aux Folles). The Theater community is off to a roaring start!!
Photos/Video: Shoshana Medney
Video Edits: Sandi Durell