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On Broadway–“Leap of Faith”

May 8, 2012

My cheers for the Broadway show, “Leap of Faith” at the St. James Theatre, which really dazzled me this past Saturday night. The story was good, evoking Burt Lancaster’s performance in “The Rainmaker.” Raul Esparza is in the starring role as Reverend Jonas Nightingale. The musical numbers, complete with great staging and dancing, were sensational.

The cast was excellent with special kudos to Jessica Phillips as the conflicted sheriff/mother and Talon Ackerman, who plays her son. At times, the characters speak directly to the audience specifying it as a New York audience, one ripe with sinners.

Esparza was brilliant as the con man preacher, who never seemed too far from his moral center. The chemistry with Phillips and his compassion for her 13 or so year old son (Ackerman) really made the show.

After the show I watched as Mr. Esparza accommodated each and every person that stood outside the theater. He patiently signed programs and posed for pictures. This man not only has star quality on stage but real quality off stage as he went well beyond the “call of duty” with the people. Watching that interaction capped a great performance.

 

Raul Esparza

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