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Monday, August 21, 2017

Moses, a creative and spectacular live show in Branson, MO

In the theatre lob


When Moses began playing at the Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson, I knew I had to see the parting of the Red Sea and God giving him the ten commandments.

Most Americans hear the biblical story of Moses as children. And most of us probably couldn't imagine Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt to the Promised Land. This familiar story, brought to life, is as impressive to an adult audience as the story is to imaginative children.

It takes a village --- almost literally to produce such a show. The Sight & Sound Theatre employs 250 people, nearly 50 of them on stage during the production. The lavish sets and technology combine with the talented casts to bring the Bible to life.
The stage with a backstage
tour group

The entire production, from concept to performance, takes several years and hundreds of creative minds working together. Founders Glenn and Shirley Eshelman of Lancaster, Pennsylvania,  bring Bible stories to life. With the 400 people employed in Pennsylvania, they move shows and performers between their Living Waters Theatre in Lancaster and Sight & Sound in Branson.

The man who plays Moses possesses a powerful voice that befits the leader, and the entire casts shines in their musical numbers. It's the combination of this talent, great stories, superb special effects and a theater especially designed for large panoramic productions, that make it all exceptional.

I especially enjoyed the portrayal of Moses. As a child, I thought of him as a superhero and never once suspected he was an ordinary man. This production shows Moses as an ordinary person, called by God to fulfill an extraordinary role in human history. He doesn't think of himself as a leader. He stutters and he is insecure. He wants to please God but doubts his ability. That show of humanity makes the story much more real.

Some of the sets
For those who may not know or remember the Old Testament story, the Egyptians have long held the Hebrews as slaves. When Pharaoh gives the order that every Hebrew male child be killed, Moses's mother sets him adrift in the Nile river. Pharaoh's daughter finds him and raises him as her own son. Moses grows up a prince, but rejects that lavish life to help his own people. God commissions him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, but Pharaoh refuses to let them go.

Our backstage tour guides
Before the show, we took the backstage tour, which is well worth the time and $5 admission. Our tour guides, two cast members in the show, explained the challenges the set designers, stage hands and sound people face with such a large production. The stage is huge, but the 49 actors and 47 live animals in the production fill it up. With over 1,000 lights on the stage and many set changes, the 26 stage hands are kept busy.

The show plays twice a day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and once on Thursday. Check https://sight-sound.com/shows/branson/moses/2017 for times. The show runs through October 20, 2017.

The Sight & Sound Theatre is located at 1001 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway in Branson, MO. For tickets, call 800.377.1277 or book online.

Photos are prohibited during the production.







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