One of the largest choral events in history featuring 1000 voices singing in Radio City Music is set for Monday, February 20, at 7:30pm as a ground-breaking benefit for the newly established Broadway KidCare, a project of St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel to create a non-sectarian day-and-evening care center for the children of actors, stagehands and all performing arts professionals in the entertainment industry. The concert will also benefit the Mother and Child Program at Covenant House which provides support services to young, homeless single mothers and their babies.
"Actor-producer Martin Sheen has been named chair of the benefit concert, entitled Voices United and conducted by the award-winning Eric Knapp," said Fr. Richard Baker, pastor St. Malachy's - The Actors' Chapel. Fr. Baker has spent most of the last decade raising funds to create a day-and-evening care center for the children of actors, front of house and backstage workers on and off Broadway and for the children of all entertainment workers in New York.
Voices United www.voicesunited.com will include choral groups from around the country, the casts of Broadway's Memphis and Sister Act, guest organists Peter Edwin Krasinski and Jonathan Ortloff, and a cavalcade of stars soon to be announced.
Broadway is a magical world of entertainment which contributes greatly to New York City’s economic base and world identity. Yet, workers in the entertainment industry face an on-going challenge for quality care for their children during their unconventional work hours. The goal of Voices United is to promote and sustain the social, educational, and cultural outreach ministries of The Actors' Chapel.
"Mr. Sheen is a longtime friend and supporter of St. Malachy's and we are thrilled to have his invaluable help in mounting this star-studded show," Fr. Baker said. "St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel has for over 100 years been the spiritual home of actors of any faith who work on Broadway. Through the years, many have gone on to work in film and television in Hollywood, but they never forget us and we never forget them. In a special way, this is a show by and for all."
In 2007, a Needs Assessment Study conducted by The Actors Fund and Actors' Equity determined that there is a crucial need by families who work in the entertainment industry for a quality, affordable child care center in the Times Square Area with flexible hours. Hence the Broadway Child Care Project now titled Broadway Kidcare.
Regular Tickets are $255.00, $115.00, $97.50, $77.50 and $47.50 and are available through Ticketmaster via the web at www.ticketmaster.com, via phone at 866-858-0008 or at the Radio City Music Hall box office, 1260 Avenue of the Americas. Patron tickets are $1000 and $500.
St. Malachy's - The Actors' Chapel
Located on West 49th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, St. Malachy's Roman Catholic Church www.actorschapel.org was founded in 1902. And although the years have seen many changes in the neighborhood of the church, St. Malachy's today remains an active, integral part of its most unusual, most dynamic community.
St. Malachy's service to its community was comparable to that of most other Catholic churches in New York City up until about 1920. Then the Theatre District moved in. Suddenly, actors, dancers, musicians, craftsmen, and tourists were filling the seats, replacing the types of parishioners St. Malachy's had seen in previous years.
Fortunately, the priests and leaders of St. Malachy's have all been men and women of their times, and so, adapted St. Malachy's to meet the needs of its new parishioners. Masses, confessions, missions were all rearranged to accommodate the rigors of theatre and nightclub schedules. And finally, with the construction of the Actors' Chapel below the main church in 1920, St. Malachy's became famous as a haven of worship for the entertainment community.
Douglas Fairbanks married Joan Crawford at St. Malachy's. Herb Shriner's children were baptized here. Thousands jammed West 49th Street outside the church in final tribute to Rudolph Valentino. George M. Cohan, Spencer Tracy, Perry Como, Irene Dunne, Hildegarde, Florence Henderson, Elaine Stritch, Lawrence Luckinbill, Rosiland Russell, Danny Thomas, Bob and Dolores Hope and Ricardo Montalban, all worshipped at St. Malachy's. Fred Allen, Don Ameche, Cyril Ritchard, Pat O'Brien and Jimmy Durante served many a Mass.