Niagara Gazette


December 1, 2012

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Saying goodbye to the ‘Bro’


Niagara Gazette — By that time, Facebook (all Greek to us) was a-buzz with Bro’s disciples, many trying to conjure a way to gather immediately to share the pain. Michele Ragusa (’84) had just landed in Oklahoma City for a concert, his wind beneath her wings. “He shaped who I am today both as a person and performer, a dear friend,” she would say. “He always had words of encouragement when I needed them. It’s hard to think of the world without him.”

Brother Augustine Towey, CM, was laid to rest in Princeton, N.J., Thursday, after services in New York. Meantime, NU, in a nearly-new theater for which he is almost wholly responsible, was opening a musical which we will delicately re-title “You’re In Town.” Odd choice, it seems, for a reverently Catholic institution, but it wouldn’t peeve Bro. His productions of “Chicago” never flinched at the humankind’s sordid side and we cherished posing this seeming dilemma to him, and hearing him note that, actually, neither did Jesus.

In 2006 we made a “duty call” to his own “Vincent in Heaven,” about the founder of his order. It was thoroughly entertaining as well as educational, and funny, too. Said actress Darleen Pickering-Hummert, who shared several shows with him, “‘Bro’ knew ‘funny’ better than anyone else.”

We could use a little “Bro” right now.

Come visit. We’ll talk. There’s no business like Bro business.

Polly and Doug E-mail

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