A Pure Gospel America, Matching Patriotic Message and Passionate Voices, Plays Houseman to May 8

News   A Pure Gospel America, Matching Patriotic Message and Passionate Voices, Plays Houseman to May 8
Some of the best-known American songs have slipped into the robes of a gospel sound in a new theatrical concert, A Pure Gospel America, playing 8 PM Sundays through May 8 at the John Houseman Theatre Center Off-Broadway.

Performances began April 3. The goal of co-directors and co-conceivers Leslie Dockery (From My Hometown) and David Tobin, and producer and co-conceiver Eric Krebs (It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues), was to match inspiring songs with an inspiring style of music.

You can expect "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "God Bless America," "This Land Is Your Land," "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and more classics "performed in a rousing, toe-tapping style."

Producer Krebs said, "The excitement and spirit that traditional gospel exudes has made it one of our country's greatest musical expressions, and one that has always been enormously satisfying to me personally. In the current political and economic climate, audiences will surely feel elated from hearing these uplifting songs that help us celebrate our values, political system and way of life."

The company includes eight singers and an on-stage band: Debbie Dean, Brandon Delagraentiss, David Hicks, Damon Horton, Anita Huff, Frankie Keane, Eric Storm and Anita Wells, and pianist Stacey Penson, James Preston on bass and Edward "King Fu" Davis on drums.

Tickets are $30 and are available at Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200. The John Houseman is at 450 W. 42nd Street betweem Ninth and Tenth Avenues. *

This is one of the final events to play the Houseman, which is slated (along with the Douglas Fairbanks) to be razed for new development. Eric Krebs, who has held the lease on both houses for many years, said the theatre will close in mid May. His operation will move to new offices.

Also playing there are Lazer Vaudeville and the Yiddish-English concert created by Eleanor Reissa, Hip, Heymish and Hot.

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