MOSES, A MULTI-LAY­ERED PRO­DUC­TION

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - By Fr Henry V. Lozano, M.O.P.

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

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