By: Mike Farragher | Published Saturday, October 2, 2010, 10:10 AM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 9:51 PM
IRISH tenor Anthony Kearns owns one of the most powerful voices produced on Irish soil, and he’s lending his majestic, classically trained voice to a new project called Hallelujah Broadway.
As Kearns says on the DVD, “The most uplifting songs ever produced within musical theater, and each song was picked based on its spiritual resonance and simple message.”
Kearns looks regal in a lavender shirt and tie, his eyes dancing in the joy of worship throughout the evening. He is joined by Alfreda Burke and Rodrick Dixon (3 Mo’ Tenors), two African American singers who wear their love for God on their sleeves as they wring every drop of soul from the melodies.
Burke’s “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma finds the singer praising a higher power for the gift of another day. Dixon’s medley from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, in particular “Any Dream Will Do,” is resplendent.
Elegantly produced with a church set ablaze with deep purple and red mood lighting as the back drop, the singers weave a spiritual spell that is so captivating that you wonder aloud if watching this DVD would absolve you from missing Mass this weekend.
Kearns raises the inspiration quotient to new heights with his soaring voice on songs like “Love Never Dies.” Musical director Gavin Murphy, the “FilmHarmonic Orchestra” and the Choir of Prague provide a luxurious backdrop that coaxes the best out of these talented vocalists.
I know what you’re thinking -- why is a rock and roll writer singing the praises of Hallelujah Broadway?
Simply put, it’s an amazing artistic triumph of music that moved me. Grown men onstage and in the audience are seen wiping their eyes throughout the broadcast. Let’s just say that I’m glad there was no Skyping going on as I typed this as the trio tacked Godspell’s “Day by Day” in the background. Saturday night might be all right for fighting, but Sunday is the day to thank your maker for your life and heal thyself from last night’s sin. Redemption never sounded as good as Hallelujah Broadway!
The DVD was part of the PBS fundraising drive over the summer, and while I am sorry this gem inexplicably fell to the bottom of my mail bag during that time, I encourage you to buy the DVD and CD through your local PBS channel. It is also available at finer book stores or on Amazon.com.