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Robert Townsend ('Hollywood Shuffle' 'Five Heartbeats') Comes to GMC for Unique New TV Special 'Robert Townsend's Musical Theater of Hope' -- World Premieres on GMC Sunday, October 25th at 8 PM
-- Produced in Partnership with BellTown Productions --
 
Contact: Jim Weiss, Gospel Music Channel, 770-692-4579
 
ATLANTA, Oct. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- Robert Townsend, multi-talented producer, director, writer and star of motion pictures, television and online series, returns to television in the world premiere of a unique new special Robert Townsend's Musical Theater of Hope. The special, which combines drama, storytelling and music, will world premiere on the Gospel Music Channel (www.gospelmusicchannel.com) Sunday, October 25 at 8:00 PM (ET) and was produced in tandem with BellTown Productions. Townsend serves as producer, director, writer and host of the special.
 
Robert Townsend's Musical Theater of Hope tells three individual stories through characters dealing with the challenges of Life. Dramatic vocal performances, delivered with an unexpected plot twist, climax each tale of ultimate triumph. The special is designed to capture a theatre-like quality and was shot in front of a live studio audience. The stories were inspired by real life situations, current events and breaking news and they explore human fears but they ultimately provide hope and inspiration while renewing faith.
 
Townsend calls Musical Theatre of Hope "The best musical numbers I've done since The Five Heartbeats." The man who gave Beyonce' her first acting break and helped discover Chris Tucker, Damon Wayans and many others, spent weeks searching for talent, drawing several thousand people at casting calls and auditions in Los Angeles and Atlanta. "I was blown away by the quantity and the quality of the people who auditioned. We drew so many talented people as good - if not better - than American Idol. These inspiring new artists are the future of gospel music."
 
In each of the vignettes, a story is told through moving and compelling acting which climaxes in a powerful musical performance. "David's News," features a man who shares much anticipated news of his health with his family; "Sparrow Sisters Reunion" depicts a celebrated singing group of sisters who are brought together after years of separation by the death of their mother; and "Cora's Release" tells the story of a woman who faces a court ruling about her freedom after killing the man who was molesting her daughter. The underlying theme in each story is hope and inspiration. The special also showcases one of the most recognizable voices in the music industry making his acting debut, Howard Hewett, the former lead singer for the group, Shalamar. He delivers a show stopping performance of "I Can Only Imagine" in the title role in "David's News."
 
Robert Townsend's Musical Theater of Hope encores on GMC Sun. Oct. 25 (8:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 12 Midnight and 12:30 am (ET) and Oct. 27 (12 Midnight ET/9:00 pm PT.) Townsend added, "I am grateful and excited to be working with Gospel Music Channel as GMC is a 'musical theater of Hope' on television."
 
BellTown Productions is a creative film, television, internet, and mobile device company that provides programming content for the entire family. This Atlanta based company established in early 2009 is collaboration between filmmaker and Hollywood Icon Robert Townsend and Bishop Eddie L. Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Long and Townsend determined that their partnership was needed to combat the negative programming that was prevalent in much of the film and television industries. Bishop Long commented, "We believe we can impact the world with a message of hope."
 
Gospel Music Channel (GMC) is the fastest-growing network in television and can be seen in 45 million homes on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224.