Saturday, August 02, 2008

Spirit Progress and Remembering Johnny Stallings

We did a run-through for the office and other casts yesterday. Randy Gill, Jeff Walling and Mike Fernandez came. It was so fun having them! Jeff Walling is now a producer for a show on BROADWAY. Wanna guess which one? No, I am not fibbing.

I leave tomorrow to take my cast to NYC. I am excited about this group. They are a wonderful group of performers...very talented and a lot of fun to be with. Pray for our safe travels. I am really bummed about being away from my family though. We've been doing lots of fun things today soaking in the time.

Here are some clips from yesterday...


"No One Mourns the Wicked" from "Wicked"

"One Short Day" from "Wicked"

Zoie portrays Tina Turner singing "Proud Mary" in the rock show..."On the Radio"


I received word today that Johnny Stallings died this morning. Johnny's father, Gene, is a beloved ex-coach (Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Cardinals, and University of Alabama). His sister, Martha Kate, is one of my best friends from college. We traveled in a band recruiting for ACU and we were Sing Song hosts together. I remember going to the Stallings' house in Alabama and having the most hilarious time with Johnny. Johnny had Down's Syndrome. Johnny was also one of the brightest, most caring and loving people I have known. Gene and Ruth Ann have spoken to audiences all over the country about the impact he has had on their family. They truly believed, as do I, that angels followed him.

I remember that one of the songs we did in that group was "God Bless the USA". It was Johnny's favorite. For years after that trip to Alabama, every time I would see Johnny he would remember and come over to me and sing..."And I'll gladly stand UP next to you..." over and over! We adore the Stallings family. Our prayers are with them. Please keep them in your prayers and thoughts this weekend.


Anonymous said...

Gene Stallings wrote a book entitled "another season" - a memoir from his days of coaching, but focusing on the impact John Mark has had on him and all he came into contact with. It's really powerful and is suggested reading for any parent! BST, if you haven't read it and would like to borrow my copy, you're welcome to it for your trip!


Vonnie said...

I want to know about Jeff. What Broadway play is he producing and is this a summer thing? Surely he is not giving up preaching. My husband and I have known Jeff since he was a teenager and we worshipped in Mission Viejo when he was preaching there. So what's the scoop? BTW the clips from the rehearsals were fun to watch and listen to.

Stephen Bailey said...

Home from Hawaii and catching up on blogs. Thanks for texting me about Johnny. He was such a blessing. Talk to you soon.