Christian film favorite The Cross and the Switchblade opens as a Broadway play this Friday at Times Square Church's Mark Hellinger Theatre, 237 West 51st Street, in New York.
The Cross and the Switchblade
was first adapted for film in 1970 after the non-fiction account written by the
founder of Times Square Church, David Wilkerson, in 1962 became a best seller.
It tells the true story of Wilkerson's first five years in New York City, where he ministered to disillusioned youth, encouraging them to turn away from the drugs, prostitution and gang violence - one of which was then-gang leader Nicky Cruz. Cruz is renown Christian evangelist and street minister.
Wilkerson, who died in a car accident two years ago, was an ordinary Pentecostal preacher serving in Pennsylvania until he saw a photograph in Life Magazine in 1958 of seven New York City teenagers charged with murder. He later penned that he felt the Holy Spirit move him with compassion to move to New York that year. He was 27.
Armed with a life-changing message and a heart of compassion, he started evangelizing to teens on the street and founded Teen Challenge, an evangelical Christian addiction recovery program affiliated with the Assemblies of God, with a network of Christian social and evangelizing work centers.
The musical scoring for this play adaptation was produced by Brooklyn-based music production studio, JahRock'n Productions.
The Cross and the Switchblade is showing on Friday, January 18 and Friday, January 25 at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.