Broadway to Get Blessed at Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Sept. 18 | Playbill

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News Broadway to Get Blessed at Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Sept. 18 Theatre and religion have never been on the best of terms, but the two institutions will make for strange bedfellows on Sept. 18, when the 10th annual "Broadway Blessing" takes place at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

The event is the brainchild of journalist and author Retta Blaney, who organized the first official ceremony in 1997. The "Broadway Blessing" is an interfaith service that every September—the traditional start of the theatre season—brings together members of the theatre community "to ask God’s blessing on the new season."

Clergy from the Cathedral, Congregation Ezrath Israel/The Actors' Temple and St. Clement's Episcopal Church will participate in the 7 PM event, as will the Broadway Blessing choir, under the direction of Darryl Curry.

The free event will also feature performances by some of Broadway's stars, including Tony winner Anna Manahan (The Beauty Queen of Leenane, DruidSynge) and Broadway stalwart Edward Herrmann, plus a new song composed for the anniversary by Elizabeth Swados.

Other participants include: Actors' Temple rabbi, Jill Hausman, who is also a cantor; the Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, dean of the Cathedral, who will offer opening remarks and a prayer; actor James Ashcraft, who will recite a reading about life in the theatre; actress and singer Cindy Marchionda, who will sing "I Am Born Again" by Ron Melrose, music director of Jersey Boys; Broadway and cabaret performer PJ Nelson, who will sing "Go Home, Train!" from Fade Out— Fade In; and Broadway veteran John Tracy Egan, who will sing "Ordinary Miracles."

Reservations are not necessary. The event is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Sisters of Charity of New York, Creative Gifts Foundation (Orlando, FL) Christians in Theatre Arts (Greenville, SC), St. Matthew's Episcopal Church (Bedford, NY) and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (Armonk, NY).

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