‘Oy, Father’ comes to Roslyn’s Trinity Church

‘Oy, Father’ comes to Roslyn’s Trinity Church
Bill McBride, left, and Irene Failenbogen star in "Oy, Father" at Trinity Church in Roslyn. (Photo courtesy of Trinity Church)

Trinity Arts will present “Oy Father,” the musical love story of a Jewish female cantor and a Catholic priest, at 3 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Roslyn.

“Oy Father” is based on the book that former Catholic priest Bill McBride is in the process of writing about the choices he had to make in leaving the priesthood after falling in love with his wife, Argentinian-born cantor Irene Failenbogen. McBride first met Failenbogen when he was taking singing lessons from her in order to develop his talents before traveling to Taiwan as a priest to work with Taiwanese artists.

It is performed by McBride and Failenbogen as themselves and directed by Rhonda Carol. The production includes a program of moving, uplifting songs running the gamut from original compositions by Failenbogen in English, Spanish and Hebrew to standards and duets the couple sings together. The story is a deeply woven revelation of their experience told honestly and directly to the audience touching on the trials of their union and also the very comedic elements of their relationship as “Cantor and Priest.”

Failenbogen has been singing professionally since her debut in a critically-acclaimed role in the Argentinian National Theatre production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Dracula.” She has a degree in Body Expression from the National School of Dance in Buenos Aires. Failenbogen has established a career as an Argentinian-Jewish singer-songwriter and continues to perform as Cantor for the New Synagogue of Long Island in Brookville.

A native of Wisconsin, McBride tells his story in a style reminiscent of storyteller–humorist Garrison Keillor of Minnesota. He was a member of the Park Place Storytelling Guild in Wisconsin and also studied acting at NYU. He was a Catholic priest for 16 years. During his priesthood, he co-founded the Jewish-Christian Dialogue and taught Bible and Literature with interfaith legend, Sister Marie Stephen Reges at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Oy Father” will benefit the arts program at Trinity Church, located at 1579 Northern Blvd., Roslyn. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door. For more information or to make reservations, call 516-621-7925.

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