Jesus at Sight & Sound: A Review
In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God.
Nicodemus meets secretly with Jesus to discuss the oddities of faith - how can an old man be born again? Won't the Messiah come in power, as a warrior? What simple Passover lamb could be perfect enough to wipe out man's sin once and for all? A sacrifice like that would have to be perfect - like God himself...
This is not an easy story to tell. Most often the church will err on the side of holiness, painting the disciples and Jesus with clean, smooth strokes so that their flaws, their brokenness, and their humanity fade away. Other shows go too far in exploring that humanity, giving Jesus motivations that simply are not supported by the text.
But the storytellers at Sight and Sound do a pretty good job of getting that balance right. The character Jesus laughs, cries, and connects with his disciples, and his friends. Yet none of those relatable quirks takes away from his divinity or his mission.
Now, my husband and daughter are in the cast and we have many dear friends both on and behind the stage. So it's fair to say I'm about as biased as they come. But I also have a deep appreciation for the craft and want to see it done well. Knowing what all these amazing artists are capable of, my expectations can be very high.
That being said, there are a few things I would have done differently. Moments I might have played up or down, depending on how the story speaks to me. But I'm not going to pick it apart here because that is the beauty of story and theatre specifically. What I might choose to feature could be picked apart by the next expert in town. There is always more story to tell. More layers to explore. More points of view to relate to.
One of my favorite moments is when Jesus washes the disciple's feet - specifically Judas. In the same way we oversimplify Jesus' divinity, it's easy to write Judas off as the villain. But before he betrayed, he was a friend. He had motivations and dreams. He had expectations for what the Messiah would do when he arrived.
Bottom line, I love seeing the words of Scripture come to life on stage and I love that the story doesn't end with the final curtain. We can read it again and again for ourselves and always find more story to tell.