friar playing violin to audience

Br. Al Mascia performs during “More Love than Skill: a Saint and His Fiddle.”   Photo by Fr. Jeff Scheeler.

It was the premiere of my original one-friar, one-act musical inspired by the life of Blessed Solanus Casey, OFM Cap. The venue was the bucolic setting of the Felician Sisters’ retreat center, Maryville, in Holly, Michigan. Months of song writing, violin lessons and not a few sleepless nights had preceded it.

program with portrait of Solanus Casey

The Playbill for “More Love than Skill: a Saint and His Fiddle.”

Performing before a sold-out—it was a smallish venue—audience that evening was a wonderful experience for me. Although there were plenty of “glitches” to contend with, the biggest, unexpected surprise came while I was playing and singing one of the songs I had written for the show. It happened to be my favorite one. Suddenly, in the middle of the song, I noticed the heads of everyone in the audience turn towards the ceiling. There, ominously darting about, was a big, black bat! (Actually, after doing some research online, it was more than likely a Big Brown Bat, which just happens to have big black wings.)

Now, with one performance under my belt, and thanks to the indispensable assistance of jack-of-all-trades Br. Michael Radomski, I’m looking forward to more upcoming shows. One of them will be at the US-6 regional gathering here in Detroit on May 4. Between now and then, I’m revising the script, troubleshooting the equipment and praying that only human beings attend next time!

Future performances of “More Love than Skill: a Saint and His Fiddle” are scheduled for Friday, April 29, 7- 9 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, 3-5 p.m. at Our Lady of La Salette Church, 2599 Harvard Road, Berkley, Michigan.

Visit Br. Al’s website to watch his musical videos.