Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jonah, and a Very Large Whale!

This past weekend we attended the Biblical Musical "Jonah" at the Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  We had seen previous excellent productions at this same venue in the past, and this show, as usual, was amazing -   an impressive 2000 seat theatre with a 300 foot wrap-around stage, stunning special effects, and a timeless message.

Of course, photos inside the theater during the performance were forbidden, so I'll just try to recount some of the special moments I recall.

Each visit we have made to the theater has truly been a unique experience.  This time we were seated in the orchestra section, and so we had excellent views of the hundreds of professional actors and their elaborate costumes.  Together with the sets that tower up to 40 feet high, many trained animal "cast" members, unmatched special effects, and moving music, it was an inspiring experience.  I frankly was in a state of awe and contemplation as I left the theater.  I could not deny the feeling of God's love and grace to me.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with this Biblical story, Jonah is one of the Bible's most colorful prophets.  Although he has spent his life loving his God, there are some limits to this misguided prophet's devotion, and because of his rebellion, a massive fish ultimately swallows him.  We watched Jonah's sojourn on a trek of rediscovery to where he finally finds himself and understands the all-merciful heart of God.

This mammoth production featured breathtaking special effects that at times just made me laugh out loud in wonder.  I watched as a multifaceted 30-foot-tall ship broke apart right before my eyes.  In another scene, the entire theater was "under water" and a massive whale swam right over our heads.  Black light technology illuminated choreographed schools of fish.  In another act, part of the stage was a wharf with the bustling activity thereon, while the remaining part of the stage was the ocean with large sailing ships.  I saw a man swallowed by a whale, then forcefully spit out onto a tropical island.  At times I didn't know where to look, as there was so much going on all around me and overhead.  Fun, fun, fun.

This sweeping musical intertwines powerful themes of love, mercy, obedience and second chances.  Perhaps the most moving scene to me was when the entire city of Ninevah repented and cried out for God to show mercy and spare them from destruction.

If you are in the area and have the chance to see this story, please go.  It will be worth your time and money.  I enjoyed it, I had fun, and I might even have spent some time "looking in the mirror," if you know what I mean....

1 comment:

  1. I bet that was great!! Wish I lived a 1500 miles closer then I could go too.