Rhapsody Players perform ‘Summer in the City’ at St. Mary’s Church

Bay Ridge will be a “hot town” on Saturday, June 23 when the Rhapsody Players vocal group, under the direction of founding member John Heffernan, present their “Summer in the City” hits from the ‘50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s program at St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox church, 81st Street and Ridge Boulevard.

“The Rhapsody Players return to their second home at St. Mary’s to kick off the summer with the greatest songs from the ‘50s to ‘80s,” Heffernan told this paper. Among the offerings will be, he said, “Songs such as ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin, ‘At Last’ by Etta James, ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline as well as songs from Al Green, the Bee Gees, Annie Lennox, the Harptones, the Mamas and the Papas, Burt Bacharach and the Lovin’ Spoonful including of course ‘Summer in the City.’”

This is the fifth time the Players will be performing at St. Mary’s after selling out the church hall in January for their “Blast from the Past” production.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Michael Ellias, called the Rhapsody Players St. Mary’s house band because, “We truly enjoy having them perform here; they are like family.”

The members of the Rhapsody Players are Heffernan, Anthony Marino, Jannicke Steadman-Charles, Colleen Martin-O’Donnell, Donna Heffernan, Kevin Sweeney, Kiernan Hamilton, Bernard Smith and Renee Titus. The guest vocalist for the evening will be St. Mary’s own Connor Mayrose. They will be accompanied by a six-piece band.

Past highlights of the show have included covers of the Ronettes “Be My Baby, the Drifters’ “This Magic Moment,” and Mayrose’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”

The money raised from the concert will be donated to St. Mary’s. While the church has been at its current location since 1950, its roots reach back to 1917 when the Assumption of the Theotokos Cathedral, now known as St. Mary’s Church, came into existence and took up residence in a former synagogue on Boerum Place in Downtown Brooklyn.

Tickets for the Sat. June 23 concert at St Mary’s are $25, which includes coffee and dessert. Wine and beer will be available for purchase.

For reservations call 646-335-2710 or email Heffernan at broadwayjack@earthlink.net.

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