Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Noah! A Musical Production


Noah, Aka, the best Theatre performance I’ve ever seen, is a musical by Lifehouse Theatre in Redlands CA, that I had the blessing of seeing this past weekend.
Now, theatre is my first entertainment love. When I was six years old, I saw my first musical, The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe, and that was a big part of me coming to believe in and follow Christ. I feel theatre can be a powerful tool, and want to use it for HIS glory. Now, because I love theatre, so much, I am highly critical of plays I see or am in, especially if they’re trying to send a Biblical or Godly message.

Now, for me to say something was the best musical theatre production I’ve ever seen, it had to have met high standards and requirements.
1. It must be God honoring, and show his message accurately. Obviously, not everyone agrees with this, but I believe Jesus is Lord, so a play to be really good, must proclaim him.

2. It must be THEATRE!!! A lot of productions, especially huge Broadway shows, could easily be redone on film. A true theatre production is something you can really only experience live.

3. It must be entertaining, and emotion moving, but you must leave the show feeling inspired. (if you’re a Christian, and if your not, you should still be leaving the theater going that was a really good show!) And most of all, uplifting.

4. You want to see it again and again, it’s that good. And those songs are so catchy you can’t help singing them for days on end.

Noah met all of these.

The setting is a bunch of actors just coming out on stage and putting on a musical. The set was just three ladders and 8 chairs. (one chair for each cast member) On each side of the stage, where suitcases for each actor containing all their costumes and props.
Before the show started, the actors came out on stage and just started playing around. Talking with each other, stretching, playing games with each other and the audience, vocal exercises, all the stuff you would normally find going on backstage before a show starts. When it was Showtime, they just all came to the front, and said “Now presenting the story of Noah!” and the show began.
Since everything they needed was on the stage, they never left the stage during the 90 minute show. (plus the half hour preshow).

The show was a variety of different song styles and the actors switching form character to character in incredibly funny scenes and songs. They eventually became the 8 people who survived the flood on the ark, Noah’s clan. While it was filled with humor, the serious message was also present. They and the audience cried as the lights went out in the ark and you hear the voices of those left to judgment pleading for another chance.
While it’s hard to switch from humor to seriousness, this cast and script did that flawlessly. Not a dull moment was to be found in this production.

The acting and singing and dancing was incredibly every single step of this show had to be choreographed with all the running and costume switching they did.

The message especially hit home from the actor who played Noah, when, while building the ark, he asked God: “I’m to save the world with hammer, nails, and wood now, but I know me and my family will still be sinners, in need of a savior. Are you going to send someone to save the world by hammer, nails, and wood again?”

Unfortunately, I went to the second to last performance, so it might be a whole before Lifehouse runs it again. But, if you’re in SoCal, I highly recommend all of Lifehouse’s productions. They are seriously good at what they do, even if they only a “community theatre”. Never under estimate community theatre I say! Here’s their website.

http://www.lifehousetheater.com/index.html

For me personally, this performance was inspiration, since I’ve been going through a lot of artistic block lately, not feeling like making my own stuff. This showed me how powerful art can be, and who I need to do it for, and why. Thank God for Lifehouse Theatre, and it’s gotten me on the bug to writing and filming and directing stuff again. (Hey, writing a blog post I think shows that! lol) Hope to be doing it more often again.

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