Disclosure: Mr. Houseful and I were provided complimentary tickets to a performance of Jonah in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own, but you knew that already, right?
I’m not quite sure where to begin with this review. I was expecting a stage play that wasn’t entirely as intricate as that of Jonah at the Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson, MO. I’m glad that they proved my expectations wrong. It was just that great of a presentation and experience, and you will leave feeling like a little kid marveling at everything that goes on around you.
First thing first, I’m sure that if you are attending this production, then you are very well aware of the story of Jonah, or at least the general idea. The gentlemen who welcomed us, did inform us that they did take some liberties to make the story stage friendly. When it opened, we were shown a cartoon of a young Jonah, and his interactions with his father. We are shown how much his community celebrates him and being given a word from the Lord.
The set was PHENOMENAL! Let me say that again. The set was PHENOMENAL and very interactive. There was a host of live animals, and plenty of singing and dancing, not to mention the positive storyline.
I have to say that the part that resonated with me the most was how the cast came out and interacted with the audience during the entire scene where Jonah was thrown into the sea. It was magnificent, and I kept exclaiming at how awesome everything was. It was done in a perfect slow motion, so that you literally FELT like you were underwater. Maybe I”m easily impressed, but judging by the reactions of the several hundred people in the theater, I wasn’t the only one. The “oohs” and “aahs” that filled the auditorium let me know that I everyone was equally impressed and involved.
I will admit right now, that I considered staying back in our hotel room to get some rest, as our day was FILLED to the brim with activities starting at 8 in the morning. My body wanted nothing more than to rest, but I was compelled to go and see this production that everyone seemed to have rave reviews of, but wouldn’t really tell me why. However, each person said in a roundabout manner that I would understand after it started. They were correct.
Jonah was full of great moments, but one of my favorite lines – from a song actually – was that “Everyone has a Ninevah,” meaning, everyone has a person, or a group of people that they feel don’t deserve forgiveness. Whether you believe in God or not, it’s not our place to judge others. We can understandably be upset, or bothered by things that they do, but when the opportunity for them to be forgiven arises, and they are truly sorry, it’s not right to want to withhold that forgiveness out of spite – no matter how much they deserve it. The Ninevites deserved it.
If you can’t see yourself getting into a biblical production for the message that it’s giving, I urge you to go and see the production just for the sheer greatness of the set, costumes, and way that they work their way around the theater. Jonah at the Sight & Sound Theatre will leave you wanting to know just how great their other stage productions are.