Gourmet plant-based fare served to thousands as part of Supreme Master TV’s anniversary.
More than 3,000 people gave a rousing standing ovation for the world premiere of “The Real Love,” a new musical which brought together some of the biggest names of Hollywood and Broadway onstage at the Pasadena Civic.
In what may be the first time in musical theater history, the opening of “The Real Love” was also experienced by worldwide television viewers watching the live broadcast on Supreme Master Television. This unique occasion was to celebrate the channel’s fifth anniversary of constructive programming.
A crowd of international greeters welcomed the stars as they arrived on the red carpet, which included Carol Connors, Doris Roberts, Frank Stallone, Michael Lerner and Florence La Rue, among others.
Echoing the theme of the event, Begley, one of the emcees of the show, said, “The real love for me is love of your fellow man and fellow creatures, to love all the many creatures in the animal kingdom. I’m a vegan, I’m a non-dairy vegetarian so that’s part of it for me, that’s part of expressing that love.”
In addition to Begley, the show was hosted by other veg celebrities including multi-Emmy nominated actor Grant Aleksander and actresses Kristin Bauer, Elaine Hendrix and Hayley Marie Norman.
“The Real Love” is a Broadway-style musical inspired by an extraordinary, true love story, starring award-winning actress Joanna Ampil, Daisy Eagan, Cady Huffman, Adam Pascal and Robert Torti. With songs and dances that ranged from tap to disco to Indian, the audience was taken on a journey from Europe to Asia with the 37 guest stars and cast members, accompanied by a full 21-piece orchestra.
The musical is the story of a woman who is deeply in love with her equally tender, yet strong-willed husband. At the same time, a calling and sensitivity to feel what the world is suffering propels her to make a heartrending decision ¬– remain with her beloved or sacrifice everything in search of happiness for all. It is inspired by the life of Supreme Master Ching Hai, a world-renowned spiritual leader, humanitarian, bestselling author, poet and artist. The songs of the musical were based on her poems, set to music by a eminent composers including Bill Conti, Al Kasha, Doug Katsaros, Don Pippin and David Shire.
On the red carpet, Pippin shared, “It is a very unique experience in my life because I’ve never had the opportunity to work with such beautiful words, set to music, by Supreme Master Ching Hai. She is so beautiful, what she writes, and it inspires me.”
Pippin was the composer for the opening song, “The Real Love,” which featured Betty Buckley, Filippa Giordano, Shirley Jones, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish, Faith Rivera, Tom Schmid and soprano Lynne Wintersteller.
Jones, who also plays a role in the musical as the mother-in-law of the main character accompanied by Dick Van Patten as the father-in-law, said,
“I thought it was a wonderful story and a wonderful idea and the music was very interesting … I’m just happy to be a part of this.”
The guest of honor, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with the audience at the conclusion of the musical via live videoconference. “I can never thank all of you enough for your incredible loving dedication and support to art and love. This is the real love, your love. Love is the most precious thing in this physical realm. So we must protect love, be it the love between a couple, between parents and children, between friends,” she said. “Love between humans or love between animals, love between humans and animals or between animals and human … We must cherish, treasure love if we find it.”
Supreme Master Ching Hai then took the opportunity to express her love with a generous donation totalling $210,000 to six charitable organizations: ChildHelp, EarthSave, Environmental Media Association, Greenpeace, United Way of Greater Los Angeles and United Way Worldwide.
In a guest performance to conclude the event, Don McLean performed some of his most famous hits including “American Pie” and “Castles in the Air,” and “Vincent” (“Starry Starry Night”).
To wrap up the day, the show’s stars, celebrities and the public enjoyed a vegan banquet catered by L.A.’s vegan restaurants, Loving Hut and One Veg World. Attendees also had the opportunity to enjoy the art exhibition featuring the works of Supreme Master Ching Hai.
The show will be re-broadcast on Supreme Master Television at a later date, with multi-language subtitles.