FLORENCE – Theatre director, David Hope, came across a book several years ago entitled, You’ve Got to have a Dream: The Message of the Musical, written by author and Scottish theologian, Ian Bradley, the Senior Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Bradley wrote, “Many of the modern musicals have a significant theological content and spiritual dimension. They provide millions of people around the world with spiritual and theological values.” Hope said, “I found his book to be very theologically insightful and, I completely agreed with him. After reading his book, I knew that at some point I wanted to do a concert that would show this to the public.
As a result, THE BIBLE ON BROADWAY concert will take place at 7pm on Saturday, March 7 at Woodmont Baptist Church on Darby Drive in Florence.
“Most people don’t immediately associate the Bible with Broadway musicals,” Hope continued. “However, we find that over and over Biblical truths serve as the foundation for the message in the songs and very often the entire musical.”
“One of the strongest examples of this is the remarkably successful musical, Les Misérables. In it there are 31 references to God in the context of prayers, 6 references to Jesus, 8 mentions of Heaven, 4 of the soul, and explicit allusions to Calvary, the passion and the blood of Christ, sacrifice, and salvation. One of the show-stopping numbers, “Bring Him Home,” is essentially a prayer set to music.
Now, Les Misérables is certainly unique. The entire premise of the show is the love and mercy of God and the redemption of man. Obviously, all musicals are nowhere near as scripturally heavy as this. Still, when we examine a little closer, we realize there are a great many musicals where the Bible is most definitely there.
The goal with THE BIBLE ON BROADWAY concert is to share this message with the audience.
Twelve beautiful and beloved songs from ten classic Broadway musicals have been chosen. A screen will also display the represented Biblical scriptures in their core messages.
“I am so pleased to have an outstandingly talented team working with me to create this concert, said Hope. “Gene Anne Gifford is our musical director and Becky Foster is our accompanist. Their collaboration and contribution have been essential. We have put together a marvelous choir of 50 very talented singers from across the Shoals area. We are very fortunate to have several outstanding soloists including, Tammy McCollister, Jill Gatlin, Carol Johns, Mikayla Camp, Salina Fugate, Anne-Marie Patrick, Suzanne Reese Mills, Josh Davis, Joey Wright, and Tanner Rhodes.”
As a special guest, Taylor Lamm, the young man who played the leading role of Jean Valjean in the SummerStock production of Les Misérables, is coming from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to take part. He will be featured on “Bring Him Home” and the closing number which is the finale to Les Misérables.
“A concert of this type has never been done in Northwest Alabama,” Hope said. “The audience is going to have a wonderful experience!
The concert is sponsored by the Woodmont Baptist Church Family life Committee and is a free family event to the community.