Broadway audiences will no doubt be hearing the standard, "I Say A Little Prayer For You" when a Gillian Lynne-directed revue of hits by Bacharach/David hits the Roundabout Theatre later this season. But who will say a little prayer for Broadway?
Well, according to a story in Back Stage, a gathering of religious leaders in the New York community will do just that, Sept. 15, 6:30 PM, at St. Luke's Lutheran Church at 6th Street. and 8th Avenue. This non-denominational, religious blessing reportedly will be presided over by leaders from St. Luke's Lutheran Church, St. Clement's Episcopal Church, St. Malachy's Roman Catholic Church and Congregation Ezrath Israel. (The latter two are commonly called "The Actors' Chapel" and "The Actors' Temple.")
St. Clement's rector Barbara Crafton told Back Stage's Robert Simonson the religious leaders would use theatre-related topics in their talks and also stay on "the neutral territory" of the Old Testament. Ezrath Israel cantor Eugene Flam will sing and bestow the blessing, which involves a "healing circle." There will also be choir selections from Godspell and Fiddler On The Roof ("Sabbath Prayer").
Actress Genie Layman will read from the Genesis story of Jacob, who had to work an extra seven years to get the woman he loved. Crafton told Back Stage the passage was chosen to show, "how hard [actors] work and how frequently they're disappointed and how they just have to keep going; and how they're rewarded in ways they don't expect. That's a part of the actor's life." Asked about the idea for a Broadway benediction, Crafton said, "If they can bless the hounds for a fox hunt, we can surely give a blessing for human beings in a creative endeavor in the greatest city in the world."
--By David Lefkowitz