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East Village Church Becomes A Stage For A Gospel-Themed Variety Show

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The Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village is set to host a unique gospel experience on Sunday night, courtesy of some Broadway performers. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.

On Sunday night, brother and sister duo Larry and Linda Hart, along with their friends, will transform the East Village's Middle Collegiate Church into an unconventional stage, for a ceremony entitled "Praise!"

Billed as an "irreverently reverent gospel experience," this religious-based variety show was created by Grammy Award-winner Larry Hart alongside his sister, Broadway regular Linda. Both Harts got their start in show biz blending music with worship.

"We grew up on the road, we grew up in tent revivals, we traveled around the world in tent revivals that would last sometimes two nights or two weeks," says Linda Hart.

"Growing up in Detroit, certainly there's a lot of soulful influence in the construction of the music and we have some amazing talent," says Larry Hart.

That talent includes the Harts, Broadway married couple Matt Cavenaugh and Jenny Powers, actor Ryan Shaw and others.

Aside from being an evening of entertainment, the concert will also serve as a benefit for Middle Collegiate’s outreach program, The Middle Project, which is dedicated to helping young adults develop leadership skills.

The senior minister of Middle Collegiate, Jacqueline Lewis, who serves as the executive director of The Middle Project, is scheduled to make a cameo in "Praise."

"This piece is a subversive message to say there's goodness in everyone and God loves everyone and let's heal the world together. And The Middle Project is doing that work through education and social justice with young adults," says Lewis.

"Praise" is set to take place at The Middle Collegiate Church on Sunday, October 28. For more information, visit www.middleproject.org.

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