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October 2, 1979

Actor Michael Tolaydo starred in the solo performance of “St. Mark’s Gospel” in the Chapel. The entertainment, created and first performed by the veteran British actor Alec McCowen in January 1978, was a reading of the complete text of the Gospel According to Mark in the King James version. McCowen’s performance of it in several venues in New York City earned a Tony nomination. Moving on to other projects, he passed to work along to Tolaydo, who toured with it for two years.

Reviving the piece in 2008 for a two week run in Washington, DC, Tolaydo told Washington Post writer Jane Horwitz how McCowen had instructed him to perform the work:

“‘The way that Alec McCowen described it to me,’ recalls Tolaydo, ‘imagine you spent all night in a pub and you hear this great story…and you come out and want to tell your friends.’ The life of Jesus as told by St. Mark contains less ’religious dictum’ and more ‘reportage’ than the other Gospels, the actor says.

“‘When you read it, it’s very much like a historical journey—it doesn’t proselytize,’ Tolaydo says. ‘The show is the telling of this wonderful story. It’s not an attempt to convert anyone. It’s got a lot of humor in it…It humanizes everyone.’” Jane Horwitz, “28 Years Later, A ‘Gospel’ Revival,” The Washington Post

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