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Something unprecedented is occurring this season on Broadway.  Audiences who usually sit in silence or applauding during a Broadway show are enthusiastically singing the hymn Blessed Assurance when famed actress Cicely Tyson starts singing it in her Broadway hit A Trip to Bountiful.  The revival of the play is a hit this Broadway season.  And according to The New York Times, something unusual happens at the start of the second act.  Then in a scene set in a bus station, Ms,. Tyson breaks out singing  the famed hymn Blessed Assurance along with her co-star Condola Rashad. As the two actresses sing the song in character, they are joined by the audience who sing along with them.  This is something that never ever happens in a Broadway show.  Not even during a Broadway musical.  According to the Times story, “When Ms. Tyson jumps to her feet, spreads her arms and picks up the volume, they start singing along. On some nights it’s a muted accompaniment. On other nights, and especially at Sunday matinees, it’s a full-throated chorus that rocks the theater.” Asked about the unusual accompaniment, Tyson told the Times, ““I didn’t realize they were doing it until someone remarked to me how incredible it was that the audience was joining in,” Ms. Tyson said in a recent interview, referring to her preview performances. “I said, ‘Where?’ I was so focused on what I was doing that I didn’t hear it.”” Cicely Tyson has been nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the play’s revival. Condola Rashad, who is the daughter of famed actress and Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad and NFL star Ahmad Rashad also has been nominated for a Tony Award. Click Here to Read the Full New York Times article about the unusual audience response. NY Times: Cicely Tyson and Blessed Assurance. Click Here to See a Short Video of the Performance. See Video of Audience Responding to Cicely Tyson