It won’t receive a Tony award or any other for that matter, but last Thursday I saw LEAP OF FAITH, the musical at Blank Canvas Theatre, an intimate little place that holds only about 100 people in an old warehouse on W. 78th Street in Cleveland. I’ve seen several plays there and have never been disappointed but last Thursday, even though it wasn’t my favorite play seen there, was one I’ll never forget.
Right before the show started, the Artistic Director and Founder of Blank Canvas, Patrick Ciamacco came out and told us that the lead for the show had fallen ill and instead of canceling the show like they had to do the weekend before because of multiple illnesses, that he would be filling the role of the lead actor and apologized that he would be having full script in hand and further apologized that he had just gone over the musical pieces he’d be performing and hoping it wouldn’t take away from the show.
Utt-ohhh didn’t get sighed out loud, but I believe the audience of about 70 people thought this might be one to escape by intermission. WRONG!
Patrick’s THE SHOW MUST GO ON mentality for me, WAS THE SHOW.
He shared in his Director’s note:
It’s always been my goal for Blank Canvas Theatre to present shows that are rarely, if ever, produced in the Cleveland area. We strive to give you, our audience, an opportunity to discover something new, whether it be a recently-written piece or a little-known show. Leap of Faith opened on Broadway on April 26, 2012 but despite its impressive credentials, an all-star createive team, an EGOT winning composer, multiple Drama Desk Award nominations and a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical—it ran for only 20 performances. That’s just twice the number of performances that Blank Canvas Theatre will present! While no piece of theatre is ever perfect, Leap of Faith certainly has its flaws. But it is still a story worth telling and seeing something new is always fun.
I saw the film, Leap of Faith in 1992 and remember being intrigued by Steve Martin’s performance in a very different type of role than he usually played. Religion was not a crucial part of my life growing up, and while religion and belief in God play a role in Leap of Faith, I find that the story of Jonas Nightingale means much more. To me, this is a story about faith in all its forms: religious faith, yes, but also the faith we have in the world, the faith we have in our friends and family and most of all, the faith we have in ourselves. We may sometimes lose faith in those we love because of their actions or our feelings. We may lose faith in ourselves, doubting every decision and choice we make. Each of us has flaws, and we all may feel like we are far from being who we want to be, but with faith, we can succeed.
I hope that you share our faith that this show will succeed both as an evening of entertainment and as an opportunity to consider the role of faith in our lives. Thank you for taking a leap of faith in coming to see a show that is most likely unknown to you—and thank you for supporting live theatre!
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Witnessing what Patrick did on stage that night will never be award winning, but more importantly, never forgotten by those of us in attendance. He not only took a huge Leaf of Faith, he GIFTED IT, and for then as in right now, (and I believe a part of my ‘forever’) I’m a severely grateful beneficiary
SO. . .
what Leap of Faith
have you not only taken recently
but have gifted another. . . ?
THE WORST STEP OF ALL
IS THE ONE
NEVER TAKEN. . .