MOSES, A MULTI-LAYERED PRODUCTION
Moses, like any of Father Ho Lung & Friends’ productions which have been presented locally and abroad, is multi-layered.
From the perspective of evangelization, or more properly the New Evangelization called for by St John Paul II to which he wanted the Church “to commit all of her energies” as she “re-proposes” the Gospel in “new ardour, methods and expressions,” Moses has done precisely that. Set outside the more conventional way of proclaiming God’s message normally done through the pulpit and in some formal church setting, it does so in theatres through the media of dramatic production music and songs. Its novelty is also found in the contemporary rhythms it uses-all Jamaican and Caribbean like reggae, ska, mento and calypso-which reaches a wide spectrum of audiences that include especially the youths who are oftentimes uninterested in anything “religious” or “churchy.” In a language they can understand, they are able to grasp the message of God’s love and faithfulness through its well-written story lines and the rich and powerful songs which are part and parcel of the production.
Both at Kingston’s National Arena and the Halton Theatre in Charlotte (North Carolina), Moses proved to be a spiritually captivating and enriching production. Witnessed by several thousands of people from all strata of life, many went home refreshed and reenergized in their faith as Christians. Others have also found or have rediscovered their faith in Yahweh who is “not like the false god Osiris” but “a God of life and of everything.”
Artistically, Moses is comparable to any Broadway production. In fact, this has been the general assessment made by many of its patrons who have witnessed it played. With superb acting and singing, combined with colourful Biblical costumes, professionally designed sets and incredible lighting and special effects, it’s the best that one can get. To cite but one breath-taking scene, who could have imagined that the Red Sea can actually be “parted” on stage! And yet it did in a way that does transport you back to that same event recounted in the Book of Exodus.
In the area of nation-building, the coming together of peoples from different races and ethnic origins, beliefs and persuasions, as well as a wide range of economic backgrounds, offers hope and is a concrete sign that we can all come together despite our many differences and idiosyncrasies. Indeed, our differences do not necessarily have to divide us.
On the contrary, those very same differences can enrich us if we harness them well and we pool them together. Using the performers themselves as a concrete example, these men and women actually come from various Christian denominations and are of different professional backgrounds. United by a common vision, however, they work together and put their talents together for its realization.
Finally, there is also the practical result of the production being able to provide the basic needs of the homeless and indigent people who are under the care of the Missionaries of the Poor. From the funds raised from Moses come forth food, medicines, clothing and other items that are used daily by the same. Indeed, Moses serves as “manna from heaven” for hundreds and thousands of people who would have otherwise died neglected, unknown and unloved.
Father Ho lung and friends dancers
Israelite slaves maltreated by the Egyptian soldiers