Larry & Linda Hart headline the gospel musical "PRAISE" at Middle Church

April 16, 2012

Broadway actors Linda Hart (Hairspray and Anything Goes), Matt Cavenaugh (West Side Story and Urban Cowboy), Jenny Powers (Grease and Little Women), Angela Grovey (Leap of Faith), and Grammy nominated singer Ryan Shaw, and members of the Middle artists community lend their voices to Larry Hart’s “Praise: An Irreverently Reverent Gospel Experience” on Sunday, April 22 at 6 pm at Middle Collegiate Church (112 Second Avenue near E. Seventh Street).

Praise” celebrates gospel music’s rural roots and is inspired by the common themes in world religions. It honors the importance of praising a higher power, no matter how you name the presence of God.

Larry Hart is a Grammy-award winning composer and singer. Michael Jackson was executive producer on Hart’s musical Sisterella. Hart also wrote original adaptations for the musical The Color Purple and songs for artists like Ozzy Ozborne and Kenny Rogers. Hart’s songs have sold a reported 30 million copies.

Gospel music runs through Larry and Linda Hart’s veins. As children, siblings Larry and Linda Hart toured the country with their family and sang in a weekly gospel television series, The Harts. The 1997 “The Apostle” with Robert Duvall, was based on the life story of Linda and Larry Hart’s father.

The production is a part of the Middle Project’s annual conference that focuses each year on how to build multicultural and multiracial churches. This year’s conference: Igniting Social Justice through Worship and the Arts will take place Saturday, April 21 – Tuesday, April 24 at Middle Collegiate Church.

“Middle Church consistently produces the best progressive worship in the country,” said Macky Alston, Director of Auburn Media at Auburn Theological Seminary. The 6PM worship celebration is a part of a series of evening worship celebrations that showcase New York artists.

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