Posts Tagged ‘drama’

The Brightness

October 2, 2015

I snapped this pic yesterday at sunset on Hapuna beach:


What fascinates me here is the brightness of the sun’s reflection. Both the sun and its reflection on the ocean water are captured in the photo, making the sun’s effect on the image doubly bright.

There’s one source of light, the sun, the appearance of which is made twice as intense by its reflection on the surf.

It’s funny what this made me think of–a scene in the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar.

When I was in college at LSU, many and many a year ago, I went to a road-cast presentation of that incredibly expressive musical play. It blew me away.

Which is to say. . .I enjoyed it very much. The music therein is an incredible piece of work, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. I think those guys wrought a new genre at that time–a thing called rock opera, which was as fresh and new in 1971 as, say, the original opera genre was for Italians back in the day when Verdi was composing great emotive arias with incredible cadenzas and powerful ensemble singing scenes.

Among the many amazing scenes in that play is one that endures in my memory even to this day. It’s a dim recollection, in the sense that I can’t recall exactly which scene it was; but I do remember there, in the scene, there was some kind of exquisitely choreographed crescendo of frantic motion and dissonant voices, disintegrating musically into librettic confusion and wild cacophony,  when suddenly–a presence, a dramatic presence, accompanied by overpowering musical intervention, personified by the entrance of some powerful entity, maybe a king or a gifted leader. . .the entrance of the man, Jesus, eclipsed all the singers’ disintegrating harmony as the superstar of the show arrived upon the scene.

A bright light overpowering darkness.

Here’s a version of the scene that I found online:

When I ponder what happened in that scene at the Temple in Jerusalem, I think of it this way, as the prophet Isaiah had foretold, in the 60th chapter of his prophetic writing:

“Nations will come to your light, and kings

to the brightness of your rising. . .”

The brightness of his presence eclipsed their depravity.

And that overpowering illumination is what I thought of when I viewed the sunset pic, which I inserted at the top of this here blogpost.

As for the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, I consider it a musical work of absolute genius, but I do have one problem with the play. . .

no Resurrection scene.

About seven years after I was blown away by  that awesome musical stage production, I arrived at a point in my life when I came to believe that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead, and he will come again, as Messiah for all the world, and on that day. . .

Nations will come to his light, and great men and women will be drawn to the brightness of his coming.

You believe that?

Whether you do or not, watch a video of Jesus Christ Superstar. Then decide for yourself whether there should be a Resurrection scene. I hope you can rise to the occasion.


Glass half-Full

G20 and Syria: The play’s the Thing

September 5, 2013

a Play by Cousin Will Shakesword

Scene 1: As the curtain rises, we see a large, Czarish ballroom room in Petrograd, filled with G20 potentates sipping a little vodka icebreaker before dinner.

Enter in the foreground, Vlad the Man, with his aide-de-camp Nikita.

Vlad the Man: (speaking softly to Nikita) “See young Potus over there. He hath a mean and hungry look. Methinks he is hell-bent on making trouble here.

Nikita: Thou art correct, as usual. He looketh to me like an upstart, alas a Trotskyite if I ever saw one.

Vlad the Man: Ha! Comrade. He is but a featherweight. His own red line hath done him in. Between Iraq and a hard place, the slings and arrows of outrageous weapons will make worms’ meat of his good intentions. But look! Now he doeth consort with yon BigBrit.

Enter BigBrit and Potus, on the other side of the stage.

BigBrit: Oh Potus, be not sucked into this trap that that wily jackal Bashir hath contrived to confound thee. ‘Tis but a fool’s errand. My own EmPees hath delivered, by their good cautionary counsel, our assets from the slings and arrows of outrageous misjudgment. Methinks thou shouldst do likewise, and heed the red flags of yon isolationist democrats and heretofore obstructionist republicans, lest thou and thine suffer in the long run the unkindest cut of all. Forsooth, Syria is a tar baby! It will sticketh thee to the hoots! ‘T’will drag thee by the boots (aside). . . on the ground. Ask not for whom the bell doth sound. But wait! Here cometh Francois, with belligerence hot upon his countenance.

Enter Francois, with fist in the air, proclaiming loudly.

Francois:  Aux armeescitoyens! Yon tyrant  Assad hath spewed a plague upon the citizens of the world. To the barricades! Strike while the iron is hot. Spare him from the guillotine not. Let not his foul chemical hell abound. Undeniable evidence hath been found. Let us run his assets in the ground.  Drag in the missiles from all around!

Potus: (quietly, to BigBrit) This brigand’s speech doeth suit our purpose well, as all the G20 potentates will tell, for while we in this Ruskie venue do confer, yon Vlad concludes it is war that we prefer, until such time as Congress will reject my ruse, and thus extinguish our Allied fuse. Meanwhile yon Vlad doth tremble in his boots, as he thinketh we Allies to be in bellicose cahoots. Yeah I heard this from a bull moose long ago, a good Potus never ceases to put on a show. So I tell thee, and I say it quick: Walk softly and carry a big stick. But wait! What sprite from yonder stage prop breaks?

Enter ghost.

Ghost: Then all will be as ’twas before, when Bashir’s atrocities the world doth abhor.

And Vlad the Man gets a democracy lesson, when We the People curtail the Potus war obsession. And  while Potus schmoozed through that czarish hall, our better angels heard the cooling call, for there is no end to this global shame, ’til Bretton Woods doth move against dunces in the game.


But then I woke up and all hell was breaking loose.

CR, with new novel, Smoke, in progress


March 31, 2013

If the Creator of the universe

were to write some drama verse

and construct a four-act play

the great story to portray

just so the truth we would not miss

surely, would it be this:

He came down to worldly life

to deal with our human strife,

but we rejected his advance,

didn’t give him half a chance.

We crossed him up instead,

but he rose up from the dead.

Now his great story’s told ’round the world

to every person, boy and girl.

Trading a rose for a smile

March 17, 2012

It is amazing what I learned last night at a children’s play.

A revised presentation of the the classic Snow White tale was the setting. The blooming adolescents and children of Crossway church were the players.

In the story, an obsessively vain queen is hung up with jealousy as she compares her beauty to that of another woman. The young Snow White, object of the evil queen’s discontent, becomes a target of the wicked queen’s deadly schemes.

While the queen strives to reign over her subjects with harsh oppression, her unwittingly innocent nemesis finds abundant favor among the people, without even trying. Snow’s goodness outshines the queen’s ill-intent all over the place, especially in the village.

You understand the “village” in literary speak, don’t you? In this morality play, the village is like, the world in general, like, you know, the one we live in. And in this world we’ve got evil queens; we’ve got nefarious kings. And we’ve got Snow White types of good people. And then we’ve got, like, everything in between those two extremes, in adolescent-speak.

In this world we’ve got Hitlers and Bashar al-Assads; but we’ve also got George Washingtons and Vaclav Havels.

Well I’m here to tell you that the good gals and guys win in the end; that’s what this Christian thing is all about. Read the book and find out about it.

Anyway, here I am telling you what I really learned in this drama presented by a bunch of kids, with a little help from their parents of course.

The lesson took me by surprise. Snow White had just met a young prince–“the” young prince in the story. They were in the, as it were, marketplace, in the village–the main street, high street, the mall, whatever.  The young man is enamored of her beauty, of course–that’s a classic component of the story–the girl’s beauty; but even more importantly, especially in the context of this Christianized revision of the tale, Snow’s goodness, her godly character, is the shining attribute of her persona.

What the young prince does at that moment is the lesson. He trades a rose for a smile.

He hands a rose to Snow White; then she smiles. And that smile, on her loving, womanly face, becomes his inspiration and motivation from that moment onward.

And I realized, as I sat in the audience and watched the prince “trade a rose for a smile,” that I have spent the last 32 years of my life trading the the thorny, withering blooms of this life for my wife’s smile.

I have spent most of my adult life, and thankfully more than half of my entire life, loving one woman, and gathering joy abundantly just by making her happy. Just by seeing her smile. Her joy is what makes my life complete, and her well-being is what makes my life work. Furthermore, she feels the same about me. She is all about love. That’s what I detected in her smile. I caught a glimpse of that love that nurtures and prospers all that she sets her hands to, that love that birthed and raised our three children, that love that promotes excellence in her nursing professionalism, that love that fills every nook and cranny of our life together.

True love is the most powerful connection in this life.  Like the young prince in the story, I traded a rose for her smile over three decades ago; life has been so much better than it otherwise would have been because we made that commitment.

She gave me beauty for the ashes of my own self-effort; she gave me oil of joy for the mourning of this world’s reprobate condition; and she gave me a garment of praise that outshines the darkness of my self-importance.

Thank God.